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Study: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

According to new research from Harvard University, skipping breakfast is not only a bad idea, it could adversely affect your health. Some of the largest risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol, and university scientists suspected that not eating breakfast was linked to one or more of these factors.

By examining past data from blood pressure and cholesterol tests along with other measurements of heart health, the researchers assessed the well-being of almost 27,000 men who worked as health professionals. Of those men, 1,572 developed heart disease. The reported noted that previous research has found that those who skipped breakfast were 15 percent more likely to experience significant weight gain, and 21 percent more likely to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

"We've focused so much on the quality of food and what kind of diet everyone should be eating, and we don't talk as often on the manner of eating," stated Suzanne Steinbaum, M.D., preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. "This study is not even discussing the type of food. It's just talking about behavior and lifestyle choice. Part of heart-healthy living is eating breakfast because that prevents you from doing a lot of other unhealthy things."

Why skipping breakfast is bad
The researchers also found that skipping breakfast was usually combined with other unhealthy habits, such as smoking cigarettes, excessively drinking alcohol and not getting an adequate amount of exercise. When the subjects skipped breakfast, they did not replace the meal later on, which implies that they ate large quantities of high-calorie foods when they did eat. Cholesterol testing has revealed in the past that this habit can result in high bad cholesterol and high blood pressure levels.

The study authors also noticed that the subjects who skipped breakfast the most were younger men. They incurred that these subjects may be rushing to high-stress jobs in the morning, which could also contribute to a high risk of cardiovascular disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, high levels of or poorly managed stress can damage arteries and negatively affect other heart disease-related health factors.

The Mayo Clinic suggests that people over the age of 20 seek a blood pressure and cholesterol test to assess their overall well-being. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise is one of the best ways to prevent heart disease.

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