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Eating a Doughnut Versus Skipping Breakfast

A recent spate of articles and features in news media examines the question of whether it is better to skip breakfast or eat a doughnut. Does this sounds like a lesser of two evils debate?

Eating a Doughnut Versus Skipping Breakfast Pin on Pinterest

Popular media likes to create silly arguments over serious matters. In this case, the subject is morning nutrition; more specifically, whether eating a doughnut is better than skipping breakfast altogether. Now, one need not be a Rhodes Scholar to understand that neither choice is good, but the majority of opinions written on this subject have settled on the idea that, push comes to shove, the doughnut is the marginally better choice. They further make the absurd recommendation of a glass of low-fat milk* with the doughnut to reduce the glycemic effect – but, that’s another kettle of fish to be dealt with later.

As regards the recommendation of the doughnut over no breakfast, the negative effects of skipping breakfast were well attended and the doughnut got the ribbon by the default reasoning that “something is better than nothing.”

Let’s take a closer look. . .

No Breakfast

Skipping breakfast is not a wise choice. When you wake up in the morning, chances are you have been fasting for 8 hours or more. Your blood sugar and your metabolism will be at low tide and it’s reasonable to assume – and well-documented – that your mental acuity will be somewhere just north of Frankenstein on a low charge. That’s what will happen if it occurs on one specific day. If you habitually avoid a morning meal, there are a host of more serious health consequences, including:

  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke
  • Slow metabolism
  • Low energy
  • Depressed mood

Clearly, not much good comes from missing breakfast. But, is a doughnut a better choice?

Downing the Doughnut

True, the near term result will be an increase in blood sugar, metabolism and a temporary dulling of appetite. But, those results will not last. That spike in blood sugar will result in the release of insulin, which will act to bring the blood sugar levels back down. An hour or so after the doughnut you’ll be back at square one – only hungrier.

For people like me, the reactive hypoglycemia caused by that doughnut will leave me ravenous, moody, tired and ready to make some poor food choices – so not much good comes from the doughnut either. And, again, that is the probable result of the occasional breakfast doughnut. As a daily breakfast choice, that doughnut can lead to some dire long-term effects, including:

  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke
  • Slow metabolism
  • Low energy
  • Depressed mood

Get the picture? Neither option is a good one. In fact, they may be equally bad as lifestyle choices.
On the other hand, as an occasional happenstance, it’s probably no big deal either way. Some people will be better off with the doughnut and some with the fast, depending on their individual metabolic needs and hormonal sensitivities. To answer which is better, I choose “none of the above.”

*Three things about the suggestion of low-fat milk to dampen the glycemic effect of the doughnut:

  1. You just stuffed 300 plus calories of sugar and trans fat into your doughnut-hole. Why should you worry about how much fat the milk has in it? Not for nothing but, the milk fat is made by nature; the trans fats are made in a factory.
  2. The 8 grams or so of protein in the milk will not be enough to dampen the effect of the spike in your blood sugar. The extra fat in the whole milk will help…at least a little.
  3. Milk contains calcium, magnesium and tryptophan. When combined with a high glycemic index carbohydrate (doughnut), the effect is to make you drowsy. I thought the idea was to increase alertness.

How do you weigh in on this issue? Comment below!

http://health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth/surprising-dangers-skipping-breakfast, The Surprising Dangers Of Skipping Breakfast, Lisa Collier Cool, Retrieved April 21, 2014, Yahoo Lifestyles Network, 2013.

http://www.realsimple.com/health/everyday-health-dilemmas-solved-10000001084512/, Everyday Health Dilemmas Solved, Retrieved April 21, 2014, Time, Inc., 2014.

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/make-the-most-of-your-metabolism?page=3, Make The Most Of Your Metabolism, Colette Bouchez, Retrieved April 21, 2014, WebMD, 2006.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/292033-side-effects-of-not-eating-breakfast/, Side Effects of Not Eating Breakfast, Shavon Jackson-Michel, ND, Retrieved April 21, 2014, Demand Media, Inc., 2014.

http://www.aol.com/article/2014/04/11/which-is-worse-skipping-breakfast-vs-morning-doughnut/20867943/?icid=maing-grid7|aim|dl19|sec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D463953, Retrieved April 21, 2014, AmericaOnline, 2014.

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