The Importance of Breakfast

Food and nutrition

Published on 7 January 2019
by Isabelle Huot

Why is breakfast the most important meal of the day? In this article, Isabelle Huot finally answers the age-old question.



Many of us have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While this saying has been floating around for many years, few of us know why breakfast is allegedly so important.


In addition to optimizing your energy level, a balanced breakfast is integral to an effective weight-management strategy. Eating a good meal at the start of the day is associated with better results when trying to lose or maintain weight. How is this possible? It seems logical to assume that, by skipping a meal and its calories, our daily calorie consumption would drop. But that’s not the case! Skipping a morning meal often leads to end-of-day snacking, and between you and me, the foods you eat in the morning are usually more nutritious than those you eagerly snack on after work. Right?


Furthermore, a recent study showed that 29% of people eat only a single slice of toast for breakfast. Is that enough? Not really. A good breakfast should include foods from at least three of the four food groups. Unfortunately, most Quebeckers are used to breakfast foods that are rich in carbohydrates (cereals, bread, muffins) and sugars but low in protein. Although the right carbs (such as whole grains) have a high nutritional value, it is important to combine them with enough protein to feel full for several hours.



Aim for 15–20 g of protein and opt for whole grains. Here are a few ways to achieve this goal:


Whole-wheat toast + 10 mL (2 tsp) nut butter + ½ cup berries + ½ cup Greek yogurt (21 g of protein and 7 g of fibre)


½ whole-wheat English muffin + 5 mL (1 tsp) nut butter + 1 hard-boiled egg + ½ cup cottage cheese + ½ cup raspberries (24 g of protein and 7 g of fibre)


Overnight oats: ¼ cup quick-cooking oats + ¼ cup vanilla Greek yogurt + 15 mL (1 tbsp) pumpkin seeds + ½ cup blueberries + ½ cup vanilla soy drink (19 g of protein and 6 g of fibre)


Isabelle Huot
Doctor in nutrition