Published March 31, 2010
Break out the bacon and eggs. Researchers at the University of Alabama have found the best way to start your day may be with a high fat breakfast. By eating “like a king” in the morning, they said it may prevent metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is characterized by abdominal obesity, high triglycerides, insulin resistance and other heart disease risk factors.
The study, published in the current International Journal of Obesity, examined how different types of foods and specific timing of intake influenced the development of metabolic syndrome in mice.
The study revealed that mice fed a meal higher in fat after waking up had normal metabolic profiles. On the other hand, they found mice that ate a carbohydrate-rich meal in the morning and a high fat meal at the end of the day had increased weight gain, glucose intolerance and other factors related to metabolic syndrome.
"Studies have looked at the type and quantity of food intake, but nobody has undertaken the question of whether the timing of what you eat and when you eat it influences body weight, even though we know sleep and altered circadian rhythms influence body weight," Dr. Molly Bray, a professor of epidemiology in the UAB School of Public Health, said in a news release.
So does this mean you should skip that bagel in the morning?
"The first meal you have appears to program your metabolism for the rest of the day," Dr. Martin Young, associate professor of medicine in the UAB Division of Cardiovascular Disease, said in a news release. "This study suggests that if you ate a carbohydrate-rich breakfast it would promote carbohydrate utilization throughout the rest of the day, whereas, if you have a fat-rich breakfast, you have metabolic plasticity to transfer your energy utilization between carbohydrate and fat.
Both Bray and Young said further research needs to be done.