Eat Breadkfast to Improve your Heart Health

BreakfastA new study appears to confirm that when you eat, is just as important for health as what and how much you eat.

U.S. researchers asked men to complete questionnaires about what they ate and when they ate it, then tracked their health for 16 years. Those who said they skipped breakfast were found to have a higher risk of heart attack or fatal coronary heart disease.

Apparently, skipping breakfast may lead to one or more risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, which may in turn lead to heart attack over time.

Researches analyzed food frequency questionnaires completed by 26,902 male health professionals aged between 45-82 and tracked their health for 16 years from 1992-2008. The men were free of heart disease and cancer at the start of the study.

Over the follow-up years, 1,572 men experienced non-fatal heart attacks or died of coronary artery disease. When they analyzed the data the research found men who said they did not have breakfast had a 27% higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease than men who said they had eaten breakfast.

The men who skipped breakfast
had other risk factors.

They tended to be younger, single smokers, worked full time, did not do much exercise and drank alcohol.

The researchers also found when they adjusted the results to take out the effect of body mass index, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, the links between skipping breakfast and higher risk for heart attack or death from coronary heart disease became much weaker, they were no longer statistically significant. They note this suggests ”eating habits may affect risk of coronary heart disease through pathways associated with these traditional risk factors.”

They also found no links between how many times a day the men said they ate and risk of coronary heart disease.

Eatin g lat e at night
linked to heart

They did find a link, however, between eating late at night and coronary heart disease compared with men who said they did not eat late at night. Among those who did, there
was a 55% higher risk of coronary artery disease. But, the authors note that, judging by the few men in the study who ate late at night, this was unlikely to be a major public health concern.

Researchers say the message from the study, which reinforces previous research is: “Don’t Skip Breakfast” Eating a healthy meal at the start of the day is linked to lower risk of heart attacks.

Breakfast Tips

Incorporate may types of health foods into your breakfast, as
this is an easy way to ensure your meal provides adequate
energy and health balance of nutrients, such as protein,
carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. If eating a bowl of cereal,
try adding nuts and chopped fruits or steel-cut oatmeal. This is
a “great way to start a day,” said researchers.

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