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Breakfast is regarded by many nutritionists as the most important meal of the day, yet it is the one meal that many dieters and exercisers miss: dieters, because they believe that by missing it they can reduce calorific intake and lose weight; exercisers, because their early morning routines often leave them little time to eat. However, food consumed at breakfast seems to be more easily utilized than the same amount eaten at night. In one study, subjects who needed about 2000 Calories per day to maintain body weight, lost weight when the calories were eaten in one morning meal, and gained weight if they ate the same amount at night.

Clearly, to be of any real value, breakfast must be nutritious. Breakfasts vary according to the culture of the country. In Britain and the USA breakfasts often include complex carbohydrates which contain fibre, proteins, minerals, and vitamins, and provide a steady stream of glucose. Equally nutritious breakfasts are provided by salads and soups in Japan, or fish and bread in Norway. There seems to be sound sense in the old adage ‘breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dine like a pauper’.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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