Israeli breakfast spread Israeli breakfast spread A traditional Israeli breakfast spread. (Photo: ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock)

Why you should eat breakfast before 9:30

A new study adds weight to the importance of not skipping your morning meal.

We all know eating breakfast in the morning reduces cravings throughout the day. Your mom tells you, your doctor tells you ... what, we wonder, is it going to take to make you understand that you really need to stop skipping breakfast?

How about ... say ... a schedule? One that's precisely timed to your internal clock and ensures that your body's metabolism, weight control and disease prevention will all be in prime shape? One that gives you a specific time to shoot for – 9:30 a.m. – or else you can't really call it breakfast?

A new study out of Tel Aviv University in Israel does exactly that, and it's all tied to what researchers call "clock genes."

Close up of large cast iron skillet with fried eggs in green, yellow, red and orange bell peppers Whatever spin you put on breakfast, the important thing is that you eat it. (Photo: Teri Virbickis / Shutterstock)

"Our study shows that breakfast consumption triggers the proper cyclic clock gene expression leading to improved glycemic control," Professor Daniela Jakubowicz of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine said. "The circadian clock gene not only regulates the circadian changes of glucose metabolism, but also regulates our body weight, blood pressure, endothelial function and atherosclerosis."

The Israeli researchers conducted blood tests on 36 subjects, some who suffer from diabetes, and then ran them through two days of testing, one day with breakfast and lunch and the other with only lunch. The results showed that the only time the subjects' clock genes worked properly was when – you know what's coming – they ate breakfast.

The study also involved a group of participants who skipped breakfast for 10 days. In those subjects, the researchers saw blood sugar spikes and poor insulin responses. So even though they were consuming fewer calories and not overeating throughout the day, those participants were more likely to gain weight.

"In both healthy individuals and in diabetics, breakfast consumption acutely improved the expression of specific clock genes linked to more efficient weight loss, and was associated with improved glucose and insulin levels after lunch," Jakubowicz said. "Proper meal timing – such as consuming breakfast before 9:30 a.m. – could lead to an improvement of the entire metabolism of the body, facilitate weight loss, and delay complications associated with type 2 diabetes and other age-related disorders."

steel-cut oats with blueberries on top Steel-cut oats in an Instant Pot makes a great breakfast. (Photo: rpavich / Flickr)

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