If you are of a certain age then you most assuredly recall either your grandparents or parents starting off most days with a ham/bacon/egg breakfast loaded with saturated fats, triglycerides and cholesterol.
Since the federal government (via the USDA and their vile “Food Pyramid”) indicted these components as factors for heart disease, most Americans now shun such a breakfast instead opting for “healthier” fare like whole-wheat toast with artificial better-for-you-than-butter spreads or maybe skipping breakfast altogether and stopping at Starbucks for a no-fat triple shot latte, or perhaps a bowl of Special-K cereal with skim milk.
This fascinating article (1) may explain why this is the case and also vindicate our forefathers’ eating habits. Now granted, it was done in mice and human trials need to be performed before we can accept this as gospel. BUT, the mice model used has demonstrated over time to be a fairly accurate surrogate for humans. Therefore I’m passing this along to all my patients interested in better health and achieving an ideal body weight. Follow along…
“Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Baylor College of Medicine kept two groups of mice. One group got a high-fat meal upon waking and a low-fat meal before bedtime; the other had the low-fat meal first and the high-fat meal for dinner. Both groups of mice consumed “identical” amounts of total calories and calories from fat. But the mice with high-fat breakfasts had “significantly lower body weights and body fat composition” than their counterparts who ate high-fat dinners.” (1,2)
“Those weren’t the only differences. The mice that began the day with more carbs developed insulin resistance, a condition that increases the risk for Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. They also wound up with more insulin, leptin and triglycerides circulating in their blood, which are also associated with diabetes and heart disease.”(2)
The authors believe that:
“consumption of a high-fat [breakfast] is associated with increased ability to respond appropriately to carbohydrate meals ingested later … whereas a high-carbohydrate morning meal seems to ‘fix’ the metabolism toward carbohydrate usage and impairs the ability to adjust metabolism toward fat usage later.” (1)
The old-wive’s-tale goes: “Eat a King’s breakfast, a Prince’s lunch and a Pauper’s dinner” and it appears they were intuitively onto one of the characteristics of a healthy lifestyle. By making your biggest meal of the day a low-carb breakfast, you may actually:
- lose more weight than your identical twin who eats the same number of calories as you in their “healthier” American diet, and
- reduce your risks of developing Insulin Resistance and Type-2 Diabetes, and
- naturally develop more a more lean body composition.
Our parents and grandparents were pretty smart, weren’t they?
(1) Bray MS, Tsai JY, Villegas-Montoya C, et al. Time-of-dat-dependent dietary fat consumption influences multiple cardiometabolic syndrome parameters in mice. Int J Obes. 2010 Nov; 34(11):1589-98.
(2) Kaplan K. Finally! Scientific proof that greasy breakfasts are good for us!. (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2010/04/high-fat-breakfast-is-good-for-you.html). 2010, April 2.