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Lifestyle Tips

Breaking down the latest research on Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition
Written By: Dr. Barry Sears, Ph. D | Creator of the Zone Diet

Written by Mary Perry, MS, RD, LDN
on May 15, 2018

We’ve heard it time and time again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but is that true? One of the biggest benefits to consuming breakfast is to replenish energy stores and to stabilize hormones. After a full night’s sleep our blood sugar level is low and by early morning our liver glycogen stores have been depleted in an effort to maintain blood glucose throughout the night. Once energy stores are exhausted, blood glucose and insulin levels begin to drop and as a result the stress hormone cortisol is released. Cortisol levels naturally rise in the morning, but it's release signals the body to begin breaking down muscle for energy. This is why it’s critical to eat an appropriate breakfast to restore blood sugar levels and replenish glycogen. By skipping breakfast cortisol levels stay elevated until the next meal resulting in the increased breakdown of muscle for energy.

SummerSeries-BreakfastSwaps-HeaderWhy a Zone Breakfast

The Zone is based on keeping your insulin levels in a zone that is not too high and not too low. This will stabilize blood sugar and prevent the continued breakdown of muscle for energy. Eating a Zone breakfast can help keep your insulin levels stable, provide the necessary protein to prevent hunger and replenish the levels of liver glycogen. It is important that the breaking down (catabolism) that happens overnight is balanced with the building up in the morning (anabolism). It is this balance that makes breakfast important for starting your day out right hormonally and sets the stage for the other benefits that come with eating breakfast such as improved alertness and productivity, increased cognition and memory, satiety, and weight control.

Zone Breakfast vs. Traditional Breakfast

Those who eat breakfast regularly have been shown to have higher intakes of vitamins and minerals and a more well-rounded diet. We always recommend eating a Zone breakfast within one hour of waking and having one with the right balance of lean protein, low-glycemic carbohydrates and a dash of monounsaturated fat. By keeping insulin levels balanced, Zone meals are the easiest way to keep your sugar cravings under control during the day. Doing so minimizes the need to constantly look for quick fixes when your energy levels start to plummet.

Breakfast Swaps

When looking for a Zone breakfast aim for one that is under 400 calories, with less than 12 grams of fat, 25 grams of protein and about 35 grams of net carbs (total carbohydrates minus fiber). Need an easy breakfast idea? Swap out your current breakfast for a ZoneRx Shake instead. Where most grab and go breakfasts fall short on protein, are high in carbs and added sugar, and can be high in fat, ZoneRx shakes have the precise balance you need to replenish your body coming off an overnight fast and to power you through to lunch. See how it compares.


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