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Breakfast is a Dangerous Meal: Why You Should Ditch Your Morning Meal For Health and Wellbeing

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Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but only if we skip it. Since Victorian times, we have been told to breakfast like kings and dine like paupers. In the wake of his own type 2 diabetes diagnosis, Professor Terence Kealey was given the same advice. He soon noticed that his glucose levels were unusually high after eating first thing in the morning. But if he continued to fast until lunchtime they fell to a normal level. Professor Kealey began to question how much evidence there was to support the advice he’d been given, and whether there might be an advantage for some to not eating breakfast after all. Breakfast is a Dangerous Meal

353 pages, Kindle Edition

Published December 29, 2016

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Terence Kealey

8 books12 followers

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47 (20%)
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16 (6%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 33 reviews
Profile Image for Nigeyb.
1,210 reviews265 followers
January 4, 2019
We all like to have our biases confirmed, right? There should be a name for it. Something like, confirmation bias.

Here’s one of mine. I have long been convinced that the oft repeated mantra that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, is pure invention. Indeed, my belief is that it’s the consequence of a powerful group of cereal manufacturers, keen to promote such a message, who use tame scientists to undertake “research” which supports this perceived wisdom.

A few years back I stopped eating breakfast and, to my amazement, none of the apocalyptic predictions came to pass. I did not start stuffing muffins into my mouth at 11 AM. I was not dizzy or nauseous. I was able to concentrate and lead an active and normal life. Perhaps I was just an outlier. So, when I noticed this book, I had to read it

Although it is provocative and sporadically interesting, I’m loathe to recommend it unless you are sufficiently well informed to be able know which of his claims to trust.

For example, porridge is unhealthy? That’s a new one, And one I take with a pinch of salt, unlike my daily bowl of porridge.

The author is someone who was diagnosed as having type two diabetes and who has managed to cure himself by changing his dietary choices and by eating just two meals a day. However, he advocates a quasi-Atkins approach, eschewing all carbs and consuming mainly fats, plants, and some meat (not red meat though). I am just not convinced that the fat is fine argument really holds water. Whilst I agree with him that sugar is a bigger threat to long term health, I am not convinced about eating a lot of fat. He also seems to dismiss all carbohydrates, and doesn’t really dwell on the high-fibre variants of pasta and bread etc.

Still, worth a read if you are interested in this stuff, and he backs up many of his arguments with appropriate research.
Profile Image for Andrew.
772 reviews
October 12, 2018
For many years I didn't eat breakfast and was told by those closest to me that I was putting my health at risk. It seems not. This book contains much about food, diet and the impact it has on developing diabetes as well as other conditions. "You are what you eat" is a well known saying, but it seems that "You are when you eat" is an important point that is raised in this book.

Well worth reading by anyone who is concerned about the impact that diet has on health and well being.
Profile Image for Alicia R.
18 reviews
July 17, 2019
Breakfast is not a dangerous meal. Having a high glucose reading before breakfast (or any meal for that matter) IS very dangerous. Having sugary breakfast cereal after a high glucose reading is just plain stupid!
The book contains some useful information but consistently misinterprets research results and is too biased against breakfast.
Profile Image for Dorthe.
94 reviews22 followers
August 6, 2018
I confess to choosing this book to confirm my long-held opinion, as I am no fan of breakfast: when at all possible (which is most of the time), I do not eat for at least 3 hours after waking. It's always nice to have support for your views. Also good to hear some positive words on vegan diet, for a change.

That said, this book is much about Diabetes 2: how to manage, if you have it (hint: skip breakfast), and how to avoid (hint: skip breakfast). Also, the author eschews all carbohydrates, and good for him, as it seems to work; as for making it a rule, well, it does make sense for diabetics (and the rest of us) to cut down on sugar and refined carbs, but personally, I function well on a mixed regime.

The skipping of breakfast leads to the 8-hour diet, i.e., giving yourself an 8-hour window each day in which to eat and fasting for the remaining 16. According to Lugavere Genius Foods: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life, women are more sensitive to this type of fasting and can get away with a 10-hour diet. Works for me, anyway.

All in all, a fun and thought-provoking book; I enjoyed the historical bits, too, about the development of meals and mealtimes.
Profile Image for Jarmo Larsen.
240 reviews1 follower
April 24, 2021
A really interesting book about breakfast and the dangers of it that very few are aware of. Before this one I read Jason Fungs book about fasting and Satchin Pandas "The Circadian Code". And then this one that gave more to chew on. Although this book is focused on breakfast it also gives some clues about when to eat, and intermediate fasting. Terence Kealey digs pretty deep into the science and what type of research is qualitatively best, and with that aspect he doesn't only show us the research that promotes the "breakfast is a dangerous meal" view, but he also considers the research that shows the opposit and then unfolds its fallacies, forgeries and even intentional cheating!

Although this book contains a lot of information, for being a book about breakfast, as I expected a bit, it goes a bit beyond the breakfast theme, at least when it comes to the second part of the book. But it's relevant though. The book can be a bit technical too, but it gives the reader an opportunity to read it carefully. Kealy is an proponent for a lowcarb diet, but he also considers, and sometimes eats veganish, especially when his glucometer tells him to. He is also a sceptic of red meat, but he cant give any realy cause and effect science to prove it's bad for our health. He is kind a eco-Atkins in his dietary ways. If you love eating breakfast, then he even gives some advice how to do it, but read this overall excellent book first. I don't agree in everything, but all inn all this is a good one!
Profile Image for JC.
143 reviews
February 22, 2022
Bad. Read most of it but started to skim the last 1/3. Authors style was extremely grating. The tone was combative rather than argumentaive.

"Breakfast is bad because I have had bad experience with it & have noticed things and I am right..." . Not a quote but its pretty much the same over and over.

I've come accross authors arguing against something they dont like before but this was 1) Badly done & 2) almost personal.

They switch between trying to make research based arguements to dragging up some historical reference to why breakfast is bad. (Also big government bad as well....). I also felt there was an overreliance on quoting google searches...

Strucutrually, Part 4, Chapter 7 by about page ~70. What the hell?

There are arguements against how breakfast is usually had in the Western world and "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day" is marketing BS. I just wouldnt recommend this book for it.

Profile Image for Carin.
121 reviews
January 7, 2019
This is the science behind what breakfast actually does to & for us, breaking through the myths, asking important questions & being polemic ( I love that word from the Times review!). Much more research is needed but on the evidence presented & my own observations & so far, 2 week trial I agree that skipping breakfast is doing me no obvious harm, I don’t miss it, I feel in control of my eating / snacking. I’d love for some if the benefits ( especially weight/ bodymass normalisation at around 60kgs not my current 77 kgs & waist measurement significantly lower than current 102 cms) to come my way as I persist, but in the meantime I can’t foresee a reason why I am not now a ‘rest of my life’ breakfast skipper ... no calories before 12 noon unless there is a very very good reason to make an exception :-)
Profile Image for sprinkle.your.sparkle.
101 reviews30 followers
November 11, 2017
This book has been thought-provoking, it inspired me to read more on the subject of what and how I eat. I'm more aware of how my food choices affect my energy levels, it's so straightforward in my case. I'm a huge breakfast fan or shall I say I've built the habit of having breakfast over the last two years. It is true that I'm physically active in the mornings (aquabiking, hot yoga) so by the time I have "breakfast", 4-5 hours after my wake-up time, we can count that as early lunch. I'm always starving at lunch (with my work colleagues) but by the time it's dinner time, I'm rarely hungry. Not a huge sugar/carb fan myself, I understand better the strong impact of carbs on my energy levels.
61 reviews
September 27, 2018
Some Interesting studies are shown, but the book is written from a diabetics' point of view. That is - breakfasts are more dangerous for diabetics than for someone else.
Furthermore, I think it's dangerous to give advice in this general form - "why you should ditch your morning meal", which might not be applicable for everyone. I personally know a colleague who had a nasty ulcer because he didn't eat breakfast.
2 reviews
March 14, 2019
Interesting, provocative and informing. Taken at face value this is a wonderful read. It explains some of the confused thinking that has driven our eating habits over the past few decades and has allowed me to rethink my breakfast eating habits. It all seems to make sense but does not pretend to give all the answers; it puts past advice in context, gives new findings and sets the scene for further research and dietary advice.
Profile Image for Annabel.
57 reviews1 follower
February 11, 2017
The level of readability was, I think, that of first year Science of Medicine undergraduate. Maybe too complex for the lay person, and not deep enough for the scientist or health professional.
Some more diagrams would have been useful.
I liked the breakdown of the work into public health and biochemical areas.
Overall well worth reading.
Profile Image for Fiona Dobrzynski.
58 reviews1 follower
April 4, 2018
I found this book to be extremely interesting and absorbing. Usually, I’m slow to read non-fiction, so I can absorb the information carefully. However, this was so fascinating, I read and read in long sittings. I’m married to a Type 1 Diabetic and Type 2 runs rampant in my family. I also do 5:2 fasting. Very applicable to me.
Profile Image for Carin.
121 reviews
February 19, 2019
For me a life changing book - loved the science & have recommended to many. It questions established myths & ‘truths’ & so far most days now I’m happy to let the calories wait until after 12 noon. I feel healthier & have less hunger pangs. Will have to wait for long term impacts & hopefully benefits ....
Profile Image for Jacqui Allen.
176 reviews17 followers
March 10, 2018
Loved the info on how breakfast has been perceived through history. This book was well researched & really showed the reader the worth of questioning health research & “journalism”.

Now I finally feel vindicated for my breakfast apathy!
30 reviews
March 25, 2018
One of these books you need to read twice

This is my review of first reading The conclusion makes sense but a lot of technical jargon that needs digestion. What I did like is the authors humour that runs throughout the book. It is a book well worth reading.
January 31, 2019
If type 2 this is a must read.

My doctor has told me to eat carbohydrates. I have always found this strange and have preferred not to. This explains why. Read it. Do your self a favour.
Profile Image for Rob Sedgwick.
313 reviews2 followers
June 10, 2019
Great start

This book is not really justified as a full length work and you really only need to read the first ten pages. I read the rest but it's just more of the same. Having said that its good and interesting but really it's just a long magazine article padded out.
215 reviews
August 15, 2020
Interesting concept. Piggy backs on the fasting trend and how timing your eating is very effective for your overall health. Book is jammed packed with studies and research and would be of great assistance to anyone battling diabetes.
Profile Image for Sue.
190 reviews
November 17, 2021
A bit hard going on some of the science and very biased. Lesley seems to try to disprove lots of very large studies with a number of opposing very small studies. Nevertheless, some interesting and useful info - although I won't be quitting breakfast
Profile Image for Jean-Rémy Duboc.
Author 1 book1 follower
July 18, 2022
An eye-opening book, extremely well documented with a plethora of citations and extremely well argued.
This has changed the way I eat, and I'm already seeing the positive effects.
If you care about your health, read this book.
July 19, 2022
Writing: 3/5
Knowledge Gained: 3/5
Enjoyment: 1/5

Let me sum up this 250 page behemoth is one sentence:

"breakfast is a dangerous meal, you should ditch your morning meal, and eat less meat, more fruits, veggies and low GI foods, for health and wellbeing"
Profile Image for brian allen.
3 reviews
March 17, 2017
Missing breakfast

Having high sugars in morning,so worth following advise.Especially when life at risk. Worth a try,nothing to lose only high blood readings .brian allen
1 review
January 23, 2018
Hugely important book

All adults who have ever dieted should read. In the 6 months of following its advice it has changed my life.
Profile Image for April.
453 reviews
June 10, 2018
An interesting book which gives a different view Of how and when we eat. As a shift worker trying to accept a lot of the the advice would be nearly impossible though.
Profile Image for Zal.
22 reviews
March 31, 2020
For everyone who is starting on Intermittent Fasting, this book is for you
6 reviews
July 8, 2021
very academic, strong scientific support.
but may vary due to different races whom is not from Western in genes.
Profile Image for David Steele.
428 reviews14 followers
June 28, 2021
It’s true. Shark-infested cornflakes.
Highly recommended for anyone who has (or wants to avoid) diabetes.
Profile Image for Susanna.
155 reviews
September 10, 2022
“Breakfast cereals, meanwhile, are not just foods of the devil, they are the actual Devil incarnate, sitting on your kitchen table, and they should be consigned to the eternal flames as quickly as possible, preferably unopened, via the rubbish truck on its way to a municipal incinerator.”

Since starting this book, I serve eggs for breakfast most days, and I sometimes skip breakfast for myself. So it might go down as the most influential book I’ve read this year. I know much more about type 2 diabetes than before, and I’m more conscious of my eating decisions.

Breakfast is bad because cortisol production peaks in the morning (to wake us up) and causes insulin-resistance to be at its highest for the day. It follows that breakfast is worse for diabetics and people with prediabetes because their bodies have to work harder to control blood glucose spikes. But the author believes most people would benefit from skipping breakfast (no or few calories before noon) and eating more proteins and fats and fewer carbs for breakfast.

However, the author points out a few studies that indicate supper is the more dangerous meal if you are actively losing weight.

Kealey explains that studies favoring breakfast are misleading. Breakfast-eaters have better health than breakfast-skippers because we’ve been told that breakfast is good, and therefore the breakfast-eaters, in general, follow other “healthy lifestyle” guidelines.

Curiously, this book doesn’t at all address children’s need or lack of need for breakfast, and neither does it discuss if there are differences in needs between women and men.

The organization of the book could have been tighter.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 33 reviews

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