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  #1   ^
Old Sun, Jan-08-17, 02:02
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Default Why breakfast is bad for you

From The Times
London, UK
8 January, 2017

Why breakfast is bad for you, by Terence Kealey

We all know what the most important meal of the day is. Or do we? We talk to the scientist who argues that breakfast is bad for you

Some people think I’m mad,” says Terence Kealey, cutting into an octopus tentacle in a Notting Hill restaurant. “But 10 years from now, thanks to my book, eating breakfast will be as socially unacceptable as smoking cigarettes — and everyone will know that it’s just as dangerous.”

Kealey, a 64-year-old former Cambridge University lecturer, has not eaten the most important meal of the day — a phrase he despises — since 2008, when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. “I was relatively slim,” he says, “but I had the telltale signs: constant thirst, feeling increasingly tired, passing sugary urine through the night.”

His GP told him his disease was progressive and incurable. In Britain, where 4m people are diabetic, the condition leads to more than 7,000 amputations a year and, until recently, was the main cause of blindness in working-age people. But Kealey — who trained as a doctor and then specialised in clinical biochemistry and is a former senior clinical research fellow at the Wellcome Trust — refused to accept that view. “I bought a glucometer to test my blood-sugar levels,” he says. “At first I always ate breakfast, basing my meals on starchy foods. My glucose levels spiked alarmingly, especially after eating breakfast. I was almost guaranteeing that I would kill myself from a heart attack or a stroke, as 80% of diabetics do.”

Then he made a significant change. “When I skipped breakfast, my blood-sugar levels fell to within the normal range. Even after lunch and dinner, they didn’t rise anywhere near as high.”

Kealey believes that, thanks to his regimen, he has “effectively cured” his diabetes. “I still take medication, but some of my diabetic friends are now going drug-free after taking my advice.”

Now he has written a book — or manifesto — called Breakfast Is a Dangerous Meal. He believes firmly that what applies to diabetics is also true for the rest of us. “You need to be careful,” he says to me. “You’re 33 — far too young to be carrying abdominal fat. You had porridge today? Awful! Quit the carbs and quit breakfast.”

Can he be right? Everyone knows we should breakfast like kings and dine like paupers. But Kealey suggests that the “myth” of healthy breakfast only arose around the start of the last century, and was spurred on by the nutritionist Adelle Davison during a curious health scare in the 1950s when “low blood sugar” was blamed for a host of ills, including divorces, suicides and “brain fatigue”.

In fact, Kealey argues, the mantra that breakfast is healthy is a modern cultural phenomenon. Most Englishmen and women didn’t eat it at all during the previous millennium. And the meal had all but vanished from America until the 1920s, when a bacon giant commissioned the godfather of tobacco-industry PR, Edward Bernays, to rescue its market. One John Harvey Kellogg did something similar later. And this practice continues. In recent decades, a large number of scientific studies have found that people who eat breakfast are likely to be thinner, healthier and die later than those who do not. “The studies are invariably funded by the food giants,” says Kealey, his voice rising in pitch. “What the scientists and epidemiologists have been doing for years is a crime. People who typically skip breakfast tend to be at the bottom of the economic heap and have far more stress in their lives. Those who eat breakfast live longer in spite of it, not because of it.”

Nonetheless, I say, surely it’s common sense that we should fill our stomachs when we wake up, giving our bodies the energy they will need for the day. “It might seem so, but the biochemistry shows it’s not true,” he says.

“The evidence on the body’s ‘diurnal rhythms’ is growing,” says Zoë Harcombe, who has a PhD in public health nutrition. “The time of day we eat does appear to affect blood-glucose levels. But what we eat is still far more important than when we eat.”

Kealey and I meet at 1.30pm, when he tells me that he hasn’t eaten since 6pm the previous evening. I notice he barely eats: just a few spoonfuls of chickpeas, some vegetables and a mouthful of rabbit. “I’ve trained myself to have one meal a day,” he says. “I don’t get hungry any more, but it took a couple of years to get used to.”

His most crucial argument is that metabolic syndrome is the reason so many of us are getting fat, becoming diabetic and dying early. “Millions of people — including many doctors — think that high cholesterol, high blood pressure and simply being fat are making us ill,” he says. “In fact, these are symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Hardly anyone has heard of it, but it’s killing people like the Black Death.” Also known as insulin resistance, it is a state of prediabetes marked by chronic high blood sugar. Kealey claims almost half of British people aged 40 and over now have the syndrome; Harcombe says he is “absolutely correct” to warn us of its dangers.

How much of Kealey’s book should we take to heart? The professor may well be right that eating in the mornings causes our blood-sugar levels to spike more than at other times, and over several years that would predispose us to metabolic syndrome and diabetes. But he makes almost no distinction between bowlfuls of sugary cereal and poached eggs. “Of course some popular breakfast cereals are junk,” says Harcombe. “But they’re a world away from eggs and good-quality meat.”

Kealey recommends that non-diabetics who fear they will die of starvation without breakfast should nibble on “a boiled egg or a small piece of cheese” in the morning. But, he adds, “everyone who is 45, unfit or has a BMI higher than 25 should assume they are heading towards metabolic syndrome and skip breakfast”.

Fasting diets have been a significant trend in recent years. The evidence increasingly suggests that fasting is a healthy state: levels of insulin, blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol all fall. Kealey’s book may make an important contribution to this field, helping to overturn the belief that we should eat little and often. Perhaps, I think as I finish lunch with a still-rumbling stomach, the nutty professor is onto something.

Breakfast is a Dangerous Meal: Why You Should Ditch Your Morning Meal for Health and Wellbeing by Terence Kealey, Fourth Estate

Last edited by Demi : Sun, Jan-08-17 at 02:16.
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  #2   ^
Old Sun, Jan-08-17, 03:43
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cotonpal cotonpal is online now
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This is a silly article. First off he hasn't "cured" his diabetes if he is still taking medication and secondly it was Adelle Davis not Davison who was the nutritionist. These 2 remarks early on in the article suggested to me that it wasn't going to be well researched. His n=1 is just that an n=1. Plus, of course, lots of people far more knowledgeable than he is skip breakfast (Fung and Perlmutter come to mind) and plenty do not (Mercola and Wolf come to mind) In fact Robb Wolf talks about the benefits of what he calls "front loading" meaning eating most of your food early in the day. And surely he is not the only one to notice that there is an epidemic of metabolic syndrome. This is a silly fluff piece in my opinion.

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  #3   ^
Old Sun, Jan-08-17, 07:11
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Calianna Calianna is offline
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At first I always ate breakfast, basing my meals on starchy foods.

Well, duh. As mentioned in the article, he's making absolutely no distinction between the blood sugar effects of pure carbs for breakfast, and a LC breakfast. No wonder his blood sugar was still too high.

Skip the starches and sugary stuff, eat a LC breakfast, and it won't matter whether you eat early in the day or not.

Not to mention that it doesn't matter what time of day you first eat - as soon as you put a bite of food in your mouth, you're breaking your fast - in other words, it's breakfast, whether it's 6am, 2pm, or 10pm, and no matter what you choose to eat for that meal.
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  #4   ^
Old Sun, Jan-08-17, 08:44
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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My own IF food window begins between noon and 2pm, and this works much better for me than "front loading." If I eat breakfast, I tend to be hungry all day, even if it is a bacon and eggs beginning.

If I go to bed too hungry, I have trouble falling and staying asleep.

However, it is also true that I addressed my cortisol resistance with what Dr. Jack Kruse calls a Big A$$ Breakfast, and it did help my endocrine issues and my sleep. Now, though, I must be more healed up, because I am back to what I consider a lifelong "normal" pattern of not being hungry until much later in the day.

The tradition of the big breakfast was sacred on the farm of my childhood, but then people were going out at the crack of dawn for a full day of manual labor. It is very different when we are facing a long commute at the crack of dawn, and a full day of sitting at a desk.
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  #5   ^
Old Mon, Jan-09-17, 20:38
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Rosebud Rosebud is offline
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I think this is a slightly better article on the same book:

Terence Kealey's Breakfast is a Dangerous Meal is worth digesting

Oliver Moody
The Times
12:00AM January 9, 2017

The writer Julian Barnes recently said that he revised a lifelong disdain for EM Forster after reading his account of a breakfast taken on the train to London in the 1930s.

“ ‘Porridge or prunes, sir?’ ” Forster wrote. “That cry still rings in my memory. It is an epitome — not, indeed, of English food, but of the forces that drag it into the dirt.

“It voices the true spirit of gastronomic joylessness. Porridge fills the Englishman up, prunes clear him out, so their functions are ~opposed. But their spirit is the same: they eschew pleasure and consider delicacy immoral.”

Eighty years on and what a sad relic of a meal breakfast still is. ~Either we eat drooping, slithery lumps of fat and protein then spend the rest of the day feeling vaguely guilty; or we bolt down starch and refined sugar as a metabolic promissory note for a more interesting lunch. And the worst of it is that you have to repeat the process every morning, like a daily enforced communion service for people who don’t believe in God.

It would be wonderful to abolish the whole rotten institution. And that is exactly what Terence Kealey proposes in a new book.

Breakfast is a Dangerous Meal is an artful dismembering of the ~received wisdom that the morning is the most important time to eat. In some ways it is a modern return to a long and distinguished tradition of breakfast-bashing. The Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes warned, “Woe to thee, o land ... when thy princes eat in the morning”, and in the 13th century Thomas Aquinas judged that eating early in the day was a sub~category of the sin of gluttony.

By the 19th century, however, the meal had become a moral and commercial battleground. John Kellogg, the cornflakes inventor whose Seventh Day Adventist principles were outraged by the behaviour an excess of energy is wont to induce in young men, is thought to have arrived at a nutritionally worthless form of ~cereal to take the zip out of their ~libidos.

As an anti-breakfast movement began to coalesce in the 1900s, the American bacon lobby brought in Edward Bernays, the original master of public relations, to corral 4600 doctors into ~endorsing the meal.

Although the book is notion~ally about breakfast, it turns out to be more of an excuse for the author to unburden himself of his thoughts on the grand gamut of eating and exercise.

Kealey, a clinical biochemist who lectured at Cambridge before becoming vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham for 14 years, was ~diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2010.

His doctor told him to eat little and often, to stuff his meals with carbohydrates, to avoid alcohol and not to skip breakfast. After a bit of experimentation with a blood-sugar monitor, Kealey disobeyed on all four counts. His diabetes swiftly stabilised.

The chemical hero of this book’s story is insulin, which tells the body’s cells to open up their membranes and allow fuel shipments of glucose to enter. For some people, though, the cells stop listening to these instructions, leaving torrents of pure sugar tumbling around the bloodstream with nowhere better to go than the bladder. This is, crudely, the main problem faced by type 2 diabetics such as Kealey, but he is more bothered about a “modern plague” of insulin ~resistance, which is implicated in one in three deaths.

“Hardly anyone has heard of insulin resistance,” he writes, “yet its death rate can be compared to the death rates from the bubonic plague during the Black Death years of 1346-53. Admittedly, insulin resistance does not kill as fast as did the Yersinia pestis bacterium, but it kills as surely.”

This, in Kealey’s view, is what makes breakfast such a dangerous meal. A morning dose of toast and jam, or porridge and maple syrup, or any of the other sickly rafts of carbohydrates most of us rely on, tends to send blood sugar levels mounting joyously, with ~insulin galloping in their wake. Do this hard and often enough, and the insulin will lose its ability to charm glucose into your cells.

There is a reason why the dietary advice published so widely swings backwards and forwards with the awful regularity of an amnesiac pendulum — the ~science of nutrition is a shambles. This is not the fault of the scientists, who often work to high ~standards, but rather of the subject matter.

Food is so hard to disentangle from the multitude of other good and bad things we do to our bodies each day, and those bodies are so variable to start with, that it is a small miracle when two studies agree with each other. Kealey is excellent on this ~tumult of ~research. It may, ironically, be the biggest flaw in his ~argument. The teeming variety of human genetics, gut microbiota, circadian rhythms, illnesses and lifestyles means that while skipping breakfast could well be a good thing for some or even most of us, there may be no such thing as an iron rule.

Nevertheless, this book is a ~lively and forensic piece of science writing that manages to be at once polemical and yet thoughtfully ~engaged with the evidence. It is ~entirely possible to disagree with Kealey’s conclusions, but very hard to dismiss them.

The Times
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  #6   ^
Old Mon, Jan-09-17, 20:46
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mike_d mike_d is offline
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I don't eat 'breakfast' in the morning, to stave off hunger and over-eating I try not to eat my main meal until about 2PM, and I try not to snack after 5PM or risk tossing and turning at night, heartburn or indigestion.
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Old Tue, Jan-10-17, 03:34
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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Thank you, Rosebud. Makes the man out to be less of a crank. And the first instance looks on purpose...
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