Breakfast or “To Break Your Fast” – IDM I

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You have probably heard that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” more times than you could ever count.  This mantra often came from the most reputable sources you had as a child: your parents, grandparents and teachers.  Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 9.45.05 PM

This message has been ingrained into your belief system since you were a toddler, and this notion was continually reinforced by society at large through the media. As a young child how could you not be swept up by the latest, colourful cereal craze, especially when there is always an amazing prize in store at the bottom of the box?

In 2007 the Counsel of Better Business Bureaus in the United States launched a program called the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative to force cereal manufacturers to make sure their advertisements advertise focus on the nutritional value of their products.

You probably never once stopped to question why breakfast is so critical, and you had reason to.  Your parents, teachers, and the media have all followed the same script.  The government is implementing programs to make sure that the media is advertising the nutritional value of the most popular breakfast food in America.  Take a minute to stop and think about why breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Can you answer?

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The definition of the word breakfast is the first meal of the day and its origin was derived from the late Middle English verbs break and fast.  The word literally means to break the fasting period from the day before.  It does not mean to make sure you fill your bellies within minutes of waking.  No matter what time you eat after a night’s sleep is your breakfast whether it is 5:00 am or 5:00 pm because it is when you break your fast.  Prior to the mid 13th century dinner was actually the first meal of the day.  In Europe eating early in the day was originally thought to be a sin associated with overindulgence and gluttony.   Many other cultures such as the Egyptians would only have coffee and would not break their fasts until noon.

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In our IDM Program we believe breakfast should be understood in its literal meaning – to break your fast – and the longer you can go without breaking your fast, the better.  Why?  Because you are giving your body a break!  You are giving your body a break from producing insulin every time you eat, which can lead to insulin resistance in the long-term.

During this break your body has a chance to metabolize or burn excess sugar stored in the liver from the days before.  This helps maintain the integrity of your insulin sensitivity, and prevent the development of insulin resistance, obesity, type II Diabetes Mellitus and fatty liver disease.

You might think you need to eat first thing in the morning so your body has fuel to start the day, but the truth of the matter is you have leftover fuel stored inside of you.  Over time it is precisely this excess fuel that becomes hazardous to your health.

So, breakfast is certainly an important meal but it does not need to be consumed as soon as you roll off the bed.  Breaking your fast with sugary cereal and a muffin is certainly not healthy.  You can break your fast at noontime with a healthy salad and a piece of salmon.  Have a cup of coffee in the morning.  Have a cup of water.

Morning meal suggestions for those who “just have to eat”

If cutting out your morning meal seems to be too much of a challenge at first, then try eating something high in natural fats and low in carbohydrates.

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Who doesn’t love eggs?  Eggs are packed with healthy fats and cholesterols and they won’t cause your blood sugar levels to spike.  You don’t have to always eat them hardboiled either.


  • Fried eggs

If you want to make eggs even better try frying them with coconut oil or butter.  What is better than cooking healthy fats with healthy fats?

  • Omelets

You can make omelets jam packed with your favourite vegetables, and unprocessed meats and cheeses.  There are dozens of combinations you can make and customize to your own taste buds.


Yoghurt with berries and flaxseed

While Natural, unprocessed yoghurt can taste a bit tangy, it is actually pretty good for you.  Just mix insome fresh berries aome freshly ground flaxseed, and you have a nutritious meal full of healthy fibre.   Avoid the highly sweetened or artificially sweetened yoghurt with fruit that is usually sold in the supermarkets.

Steele-cut oatmeal with berries and flaxseedScreen Shot 2014-06-11 at 10.17.21 AM

This is not instant oat meal and can sometimes take awhile to cook.  Steele-cut oats are always a healthier alternative to the instant oats because they are not as processed.  Don’t be fooled though – they are still high in carbohydrates.  To moderate the effects of the carbohydrates on your blood sugar level the best way to eat them is fresh berries and flaxseed.

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A small serving of these fruits can be ideal for people on the go.  Their skin is full of fibre that will help stabilize your blood sugar levels and satiate your hunger pangs throughout the morning.


A mix of nuts and seeds

Also great for those on the run are nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pine nuts and Brazil nuts.  They are full of healthy fats.  You can mix them up in a small container and throw in some pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds to make your own trail mix.

2017-09-02T11:54:30+00:00 0 Comments

About the Author:

Dr. Fung is a Toronto based kidney specialist, having graduated from the University of Toronto and finishing his medical specialty at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2001. He is the author of the bestsellers ‘The Obesity Code’ and ‘The Complete Guide to Fasting’. He has pioneered the use of therapeutic fasting for weight loss and type 2 diabetes reversal in his IDM clinic.

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R peiris
Butter & egg is spike blood sugar over 250,please tell me any supplement, I can get from you lower the Insulin level. I am taking food one time only, 11 AM. Thank you, R. peiris,

It is not what you ‘eat’ but what you ‘don’t eat’. No supplement lowers insulin effectively. Vinegar, cinnamon, bitter melon may also very minimally lower insulin, but the most effective, efficient way to lower insulin is to fast – ‘not eat’.

R Adler

Would the addition of a drink such as a “Green Smoothie” (leafy vegetables plus fruit) blended together lower insulin response? Or, would the Fructose level be dangerous from the fruit?

Sandra Rodriguez

Can you give a sample of breakfast lunch dinner meals….. I need to lose weight to prevent type 2 diabetes. My A1C is 6. now.

Joe O

Hi Jason,
I want to know more about your programs and schedules, especially the ones on lowering blood sugar. Are you located in Ontario?


Yes, in scarborough, Ontario


What diet should be followed? Do you have your own specific diet that you could recommend — with fasting of course — or do you recommend the Atkin’s diet?


I generally recommend a diet low in refined carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and high in natural fats. It must be real, natural foods as unprocessed as possible. The closest to this the LCHF approach.

Vic Buxton

Questions for Dr. Fung

1) What are natural fats? Are these plant-based fats”

2) What do think about Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s approach to reversing and eliminating diabetes via a strict solely plant based diet (no meat, poultry, fish, oils, dairy, eggs)?


Natural fats are largely unprocessed – such as animal fats, butter and olive oil. Vegetable oils are highly processed to get the oil from a non-oily seed.

I think Dr. Fuhrman’s approach will work. He also severely restricts refined grains, vegetable oils and sugars. Further restrictions on meats and eggs also helps lower insulin further. If you can follow this diet, I think it will work. However, I don’t think it is very easy to follow this diet on a life-long basis.




If I may ask why are you a vegetarian is it religious or for health reasons? Are you Vegan and don’t need eggs cheese and dairy?

Kate Shorten

Again thank you for another great article. We have been told so many lies over the years, no wonder the world has a weight problem.
I have booked my appointment with my doctor and am looking forward to joining your long distance program with Meagan.

Matthew H.

In a comment above Dr.Fung mentions bitter melon. Can bitter melon suppliments be taken while fasting? It puts a big dent in my elevated morning blood sugars. Does bitter melon break the fast?