Having a hard time understanding why breakfast is the one meal of day that you should not eat toast, bagels, muffins, waffles, pancakes, cereal, biscuits, bread or grits? Here’s why.
When you eat foods that are rich in fiber, fat and protein, it takes your body a while to break them down. They get absorbed into your bloodstream very slowly. But whenever you eat foods (or food-like products) made primarily from sugar or refined (stripped) flour, your digestive system breaks down the ingredients and absorbs them very quickly. The faster you absorb food, the more insulin your body has to release to catch the food and escort it to the cells throughout your body.
Now it’s important to remember that insulin doesn’t work very efficiently in the early morning hours. In the early morning hours, we are all somewhat resistant to the effects of insulin. Naturally. All of us. Believe me — you’re not alone.
Think of it like this: Let’s pretend that you have two cars in your garage. One is a Ford F-150 truck, and the other is a Volkswagen. And now let’s say, for the sake of argument, that due to atmospheric conditions, gasoline doesn’t work as efficiently in the morning. That’s not really true, of course. I’m just saying it to set up a teaching point. So…back to the garage. Now, all things being equal, and assuming that gasoline works inefficiently at daybreak, which vehicle are you going to choose to drive your kid to school tomorrow morning?
The Volkswagen, of course!
Does this mean you’re never going to drive your Ford truck? No. But you’re not going to drive it in the morning — you’d just be wasting your gasoline. Most of the time you’ll drive the Volkswagen. Unless you have some really good reason why not. Like you want to impress your kid. Or the Volkswagen is in for a tune-up.
Now, just like it doesn’t make sense to waste the gasoline in this story by driving a gas-guzzler first thing in the day, it doesn’t make sense to waste your insulin by eating rapidly-absorbed food for breakfast. I’m not saying that you can never eat white flour. I am saying you can’t eat it for breakfast. It’s okay to eat a slice of toast, or a bagel, or pancakes for lunch, or for dinner [As long as your blood sugars can handle it — Diabetics, take note.]. Or to have a bowl of cereal after lunch, for dessert. But not for breakfast.
Here’s another way to think about it. Eating simple carbohydrates (white flour and sugar) first thing in the morning is like hitting a man when he’s already down. Simple carbohydrates stress out your insulin-production system. Why stress your insulin-production system at the one time of day when it works least efficiently? Imagine that it takes a gallon of insulin to eat a bowl of cereal. But if you eat that cereal at breakfast time, it will take a gallon and a half. And you don’t have a gallon of insulin to waste in the first place!
It doesn’t make sense to eat simple carbohydrates for breakfast.
Well then, you might ask, how did they get to be typical breakfast foods? And that is a topic for another day.
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