We’ve all heard the mantra repeated countless times: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”.
While I agree with this 100%, I also know that the breakfast most people eat on a daily basis is disastrous for their energy levels, body composition and - most significantly - brain function.
Not that it’s their fault. The dietary recommendations given to us by doctors and nutritionists the past few decades look woefully misguided in light of what we now know about how different types of nutrients affect the body and brain over time.
The Problem With Traditional Breakfasts: Carbohydrates
Breakfast in the US and other western countries is a mess.
When you think of the quintessential breakfast foods, what comes to mind? Bagels, toast, cereal, donuts, pastries and the like.
What do all of these foods have in common? They’re all loaded with quick-digesting, simple carbohydrates.
After you eat a bowl of cereal, for example, your body goes to work at converting that cereal into sugar so it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Within 20 minutes, the carbohydrates in that cereal start to hit your bloodstream in the form of the glucose (simple sugar).
Sometime within the following hour, the bulk of the carbohydrates from that cereal will have been converted into glucose and your blood sugar will hit a peak.
At this point, all is well with the body and brain - both have adequate fuel from all the glucose in your bloodstream and your brain is likely working pretty well. It’s what happens next that creates so many problems…
Your Brain On Sugar (and Insulin)
As soon as your gut starts sending sending glucose into your bloodstream, your body wants to store that sugar (energy) for future use, and insulin is the hormone to do the job.
The pancreas starts pumping out insulin and as it circulates around your body, it instructs cells in your liver and muscles to start taking in the glucose and storing it (usually as fat).
As soon as sugar storage catches up with the rate at which glucose is entering the bloodstream from the gut, blood sugar begins to fall...dramatically.
Your brain and body have effectively been on a “sugar high” since you ate that cereal, but now the energy from the cereal is gone and it’s time for reality to set in.
When your blood sugar drops, your brain no longer has the energy it needs to operate at full capacity, so your brain performance declines dramatically. Have you become accustomed to mid-morning brain fog? That’s the feeling of your brain literally running out of energy.
The body knows it’s running out of energy so, naturally, it tries to address the situation. The hormone cortisol is released from the adrenals and as it circulates the body, it instructs the muscle cells to release sugar back into the bloodstream until the brain has the energy it needs to function and is no longer at risk of shutting down.
If cortisol sounds familiar, I’ll remind you where you might have heard of it before. Cortisol is best known as the “stress hormone”. That moodiness and irritability that you feel when your blood sugar is low? Yep, that’s all the cortisol pumping through your system.
The worst part about this vicious blood sugar peak-and-crash cycle is that once you start, it’s very hard to get things back to equilibrium - your metabolism is effectively locked-in to cycles of dramatic blood sugar and hormone fluctuations for the rest of the day.
Eating a “balanced breakfast” that includes significant proteins and fats will reduce the severity of these cycles somewhat, but it will by no means eliminate them.
Related: read more about the battle of fats vs. carbs
As long as there is a significant amount of carbohydrate in your breakfast, you can expect a day of blood sugar fluctuations - and the diminished brain function that results.
Coconut Oil and MCT’s: The Smarter Breakfast
Fortunately, there’s a smarter way to fuel the body and brain in the morning.
Carbs are “cheap energy” for the body, and when they’re available your body will generally use them preferentially. When the body is without a carbs for a sustained period, however, there is a backup fuel source it will turn to: ketones.
Ketones are an energy source created when the liver breaks down certain kinds of fats, namely medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s) and short-chain fatty acids like butyrate.
The reality is, almost everybody’s body switches over to using ketones for energy at least once each day...during sleep. Because it’s been anywhere from 10 to 14 hours since you ate dinner and any carbs you ate are long gone, your body has long switched over to running on ketones by the time you wake up in the morning.
If you keep your body and brain running on ketones past breakfast, the benefits to mental performance, mood and overall energy levels are profound.
So how does one keep the body using ketones instead of carbs?
The best thing we can do is eat foods comprised almost entirely of MCT’s and the short-chain fatty acids that your body can easily convert into ketones for energy.
Which are the foods richest in these incredibly beneficial fats? Coconut oil, butter and ghee are easily the richest sources of MCT’s and short chain fatty acids out there.
You can certainly eat these plain and experience all the benefits of supporting your body’s ketone metabolism, but I have a better (and more delicious) solution for you. More on that in a bit...
Your Brain On Fats (and Ketones)
The benefits that come from training your body to use ketones for energy are nothing short of remarkable.
Increased energy, a sharper memory, improved mood and a generally better-working brain are all common when people start using a MCT-based breakfast.
Fats and ketones are simply a much, much more stable source of energy for the brain.
This allows your brain to escape the dramatic cycles of blood sugar spikes and crashes - and the corresponding hormone fluctuations - that a carb-dominated breakfast guarantees. The body and brain thrive in these more stable conditions.
As impressive as these benefits are, the benefits are even more profound for folks with aging brains.
Several studies have shown that MCT’s and short-chain fatty acids produce significant improvements in memory and cognition for adults suffering from Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. 
Additionally, a 2014 study showed that fueling your brain with fats has significant neuroprotective effects, regardless of age. 
Your Body On MCT’s and Ketones (Burn Body Fat!)
It’s not just the brain that benefits from MCT’s and ketones.
A recent study showed that supplementation with coconut oil produced reductions in body fat, BMI and waistline circumference. 
This makes coconut oil one of the few foods shown to reduce the fat in the abdominal region that is particularly troubling for cardiac health.
A Healthier, Smarter Breakfast
To get the maximum benefit from MCT’s and ketone metabolism, it’s important not only to get enough of these healthy fats, but also to minimize the amount of carbohydrate you consume. (even a small piece of fruit will raise blood sugar and stop ketone metabolism)
Coconut oil, butter and ghee are all excellent sources, but perhaps not the most appetizing breakfast on their own.
This is why Synchro Manna is so brilliant. This artisan raw chocolate coconut butter is loaded with the MCT’s that will encourage your body to continue using ketones as energy.
The little carbohydrate it does contain is almost entirely dietary fiber - meaning not only will Manna not raise your blood sugar, but the fiber will also keep you better satiated than coconut oil alone.
The past few years I’ve been eating 4-5 tablespoons of Synchro Manna for breakfast every day. Occasionally I’ll also have an egg or two, but most days I only have the coconut butter. Does it get any simpler than that?
This will keep me full, energized and my brain working at full speed until well past normal lunch time. On the rare occasion I do get hungry, I simply have another spoonful of Manna and I’m satisfied for another couple hours.
I can’t recommend highly enough to give this (delicious) breakfast strategy a try for at least a week. If it works as well for you as it does for me and tens of thousands of others, you’ll thank me later.
Click Here to learn more about Synchro Manna.
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