Why is Breakfast the "Most Important Meal?"

December 02, 2016


Ruth M. Brocato, M.D., is a Primary Care Provider specializing in Family Medicine at Mercy Personal Physicians at Lutherville, one of Mercy Medical Center’s several Community Physician Sites, offers her thoughts regarding the oft-heard claim, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But why is it?

Breakfast may be considered the most important meal of the day for a variety of factors. Glucose levels can drop after pro-longed fasting (like after a full night’s sleep), which can be dangerous in patients dealing with diabetes. It can cause irritability and fatigue. In addition, skipping breakfast may led to bingeing later on because of excessive hunger. There are many studies that show adults and adolescents who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a normal weight compared to those who do not—it remains an issue of controversy in the medical field, but overall, it is still considered accurate. In addition, eating complex carbohydrates (e.g. vegetables, fruits, soy milk) and protein together—the traditional “balanced breakfast”—causes more satiety and keeps glucose levels at a more stable level than just eating simple carbohydrates, like most packaged cereals, foods made with white flour, items high in sugar, etc. 

-- Ruth M. Brocato, M.D.

Dr. Ruth Brocato’s specialty in Family Medicine allows her to provide a variety of comprehensive care options for her patients, from wellness visits to acute illness. She focuses her care on health prevention and lifestyle changes, including routine immunizations and diet and weight management.

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in Downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed, acute care, university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a high-performing Maryland hospital (U.S. News & World Report); has achieved an overall 5-Star quality, safety, and patient experience rating (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services); is A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade); and is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet™ hospital. Mercy Health Services is a not-for-profit health system and the parent company of Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Personal Physicians.

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