If that bowl of oatmeal is looking downright depressing, there's another breakfast option to consider—one that you're pretty sure is the worst idea of all, but actually maybe isn't.
According to a study out of Kyorin University in Tokyo, ice cream is good for your brain, if you eat it first thing in the morning—at least when compared to totally starving yourself. The study asked research subjects to complete a few computerized tests, one group having eaten ice cream right after they woke up, the other having only had cold water for breakfast. Those who ate ice cream showed higher alertness than those who didn’t.
At this point you're asking the obvious question: Did these people do better on the test because they ate something? Because they weren't tired and miserable and hangry?
“Any type of sugar and fat to 'break the fast' would help boost alertness and performance,” Michelle Dudash, RDN, dietitian and author of Clean Eating for Busy Families, tells The Feast. “Your blood sugar is typically low when you wake up, and your tummy empty, so putting fat and sugar in it will help solve those two problems temporarily, though, of course I wouldn't recommend doing this on a regular basis."
Ok, so maybe we'll just do it once in a while, or twice in a while.
"Potentially, the ice cream could be satisfying and increasing the levels of dopamine and/or there may be a blood sugar response that is fueling brain activity, since the brain works best off of glucose,” says Laura Cipullo, a Certified Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, Certified Eating Disorder RD. But, she cautions, “While I love and advocate for the idea of #allfoodsfit, I would ask those same subjects in the study how they were feeling one, two and three hours later."
Oh right, the sugar crash. After we enjoy that 7AM ice cream sundae, we'll make sure not to schedule any meetings while our blood sugar goes off a cliff.
Speaking of sugar: Big sugar has been known to fund certain yay-for-sugar studies in the past, and while we don't know if that's the case here, we can't help but wonder if this is all a teeny bit too good to be true.
Until more evidence comes in though, we're adding ice cream to our breakfast rotation. And we're not even waiting until February, when, apparently, there’s an Ice Cream for Breakfast Day.
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