Nutritionists have long argued that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. According to multiple studies, regularly eating a healthy breakfast can lower the risk of metabolic disorders and cardiovascular diseases. What else can happen if you keep skipping breakfast? Here are four ways it could affect your health.
Eating breakfast consistently pays off through nutritional and mental health benefits, both in children and adults.
“Breakfast happens to be the easiest time to get in heart-healthy fibre from whole grain cereal and oats, which can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol,” says Lisa Mosokovitz, a registered dietitian and owner of Your New York Dietitians.
A person who regularly skips breakfast is probably “eating too much of the wrong kind of things at night,” she notes.
Unfortunately, that’s not the only reason the first meal of the day is a particularly bad one to bypass. Here’s a few more:
#1 Skipping breakfast makes you fat
Breakfast-skippers have a higher risk of obesity, according to a 2003 study published in the journal of Epidemiology. Eating more, small meals earlier in the day prevents people from overeating later in the day. It also suppresses concentrations of insulin, a hormone in our body that encourages fat cells to take up fatty acids and store them.
#2 It makes you forgetful
A study of elementary school children, a small 2005 study published in the journal Psychology and behaviour [PDF], found that elementary school kids who ate a breakfast of oatmeal had better short-term memory than students who did not eat breakfast.
#3 It increases your risk of type 2 diabetes
Women who regularly miss breakfast have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes versus women who eat breakfast every day, according to a six-year study that was published in August in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition.
#4 It makes you mean
Breakfast foods contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to jump-start your day. If you’re running on empty, it won’t be long before you begin feeling tired and cranky. A 1999 study published in the journal Psychology and behaviour showed that adults who kicked off the day with a solid breakfast had a “greater positive mood” than subjects who ate nothing.
This story originally appeared on Business Insider.