Can Skipping Breakfast Create Nutrient Deficiencies?

We’ve all heard it before — “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But is this true for everybody? Many people don’t feel hungry in the morning or are trying their hand at intermittent fasting, leading them to wonder if skipping breakfast has any downsides, like creating nutrient deficiencies. Let’s take a closer look. 

Breakfast Can Provide Extra Nutrients 

Bumping up your total daily meals from two to three can provide additional nutrients, especially if the rest of your day isn’t filled with healthy items. A nutritious breakfast can add essential vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, protein, or fiber — many of which American adults are lacking in. 

Recent research has found that skipping breakfast is linked to worse diet quality and potential nutrient gaps. Another study found that breakfast-eaters consumed more fruits, vegetables, and dairy products than those who didn’t, leading the non-breakfast-eaters to develop some vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Many breakfast items, like eggs, oatmeal, or yogurt, contain lots of beneficial nutrients, including calcium, protein, iron, and B-vitamins. However, if you end up eating healthy meals and snacks later, this may not be as much of a problem.

Potential Downsides of Skipping Breakfast

In addition to potentially missing out on key nutrients, skipping breakfast may lead to unstable blood sugar in the morning and early afternoon. This can cause dysregulated moods or an inability to concentrate. 

The Bottom Line: 

Not everyone likes or wants to eat breakfast — and that is fine, as long as you ensure the rest of your day is filled with nutrient-rich foods, like fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, fiber-rich carbohydrates, and lean proteins.

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