As your mom likely always stated, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and you shouldn’t skip having a healthy, fulfilling meal. Now, however, the proof is in the pudding or, rather, according to a new study conducted in Spain.
The study followed a group of 45 to 65-year-olds of males and females following their eating habits to better understand what various breakfast eating habits had in relation to heart disease.
Individuals that made a habit of only consuming coffee or juice for breakfast showcased a nearly doubled risk of developing a heart condition that could be linked to heart disease. The condition that was most prevalent among breakfast skippers, as the study noted, is known as atherosclerosis.
This occurs when deposits of fat – known as plaque – begins to clog up arteries. The buildup of fatty plaque then causes a reduction in blood flow throughout the body as well as a slowed supply of oxygen to the body, the heart and most importantly the brain.
This issues can then cause a number of heart problems including heart disease, heart attack and more. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that at least 610,000 Americans lose their lives each year due to heart disease. The one in four deaths isn’t just predominately among men, but rather both women and men alike.
Additionally, another study that was recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology noted that individuals who skipped breakfast were also linked to other bad habits that could likely increase their potential heart health troubles. Issues such as partaking in regular cigarette smoking, a considerable lack of exercise and consuming a fat-filled or unhealthy eating diet as well as a consuming fewer vegetables, fruits and whole grains diet (higher cholesterol) were associated with individuals that often skip breakfast. Participating in these habits increased the potential risk of developing heart disease as well.
It’s not only heart disease that individuals who skip breakfast need to worry about, the study conducted in Spain also found that those who did not consume breakfast were more likely to develop obesity in the long term.
Obesity is another condition that is associated with heart disease as well.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) notes that at least 35 percent of adults and 17 percent of children are diagnosed as obese in the United States currently. This figure doesn’t even include the 34 percent of Americans that are also found to be overweight.
According to the study, it’s not enough for an individual to consume juice and a pastry or coffee and a piece of fruit. This type of breakfast is what is considered a “low-energy” breakfast and may be just as bad as skipping breakfast all together.
The American Heart Association (AHA) found that individuals who consume a high-caloric breakfast are more likely to feel the benefits of a heart-healthy existence.
The study recommended that individuals should consume a “high-energy” meal for breakfast that consists of protein, vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. One report notes that consuming a sugary cereal with high-fat milk is not the most ideal way to consume your first meal of the day.
In fact, looking at lean proteins and egg whites rather than full-fat bacon or buttery scrambled eggs will not only help keep heart disease risks at bay, but it will also help you steer clear of weight issues like obesity as mentioned earlier.
It wasn’t that long ago that The New York Times health reporter and columnist, Gretchen Reynolds, advocated on behalf of breakfast skippers. In 2014, she wrote a column defending the choice for individuals to avoid the noshing on some eggs, toast and an apple in the morning.
However, more studies have concluded that breakfast consumers are more likely to benefit from squeezing in a high-energy and protein-packed first meal of the day.
While the studies continue to come out, most in defense of breakfast, other researchers presented note that a hearty first meal isn’t as important. For now, it seems, that those middle-aged individuals and older would benefit greatly from consuming a healthy first meal as – if nothing more than – as a precaution to keep your efforts aligned with heart disease prevention.
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