Skipping breakfast hurts heart health, says Harvard study
Are you skipping breakfast? You might want to rethink that behavior. A Harvard study published July 22, 2013, in Circulation found that men ages 45 to 82 who did not eat breakfast on a regular basis had a 27% higher risk of heart attack or fatal heart disease. "Our bodies need to be fed regularly in order to maintain normal blood pressure and healthy levels of blood lipids such as cholesterol and hormones such as insulin. As we sleep all night we are fasting, and so if we regularly do not 'break fast' in the morning, it puts a strain on our bodies that over time can lead to insulin resistance, high cholesterol, and blood pressure problems," explains Dr. Leah Cahill, lead author and postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health. "We think that the same effects will be observed in women and we are working on that study right now." But watch out for breakfast foods loaded with saturated fat, such as bacon and sausage, or trans fat, such as muffins. Instead, go for whole grains and fresh fruit. The American Heart Association suggests whole-grain waffles, bagels, and toast; egg-white omelets; steel-cut oatmeal (it doesn't have the sodium, sugar, and preservatives found in flavored oatmeal products); low-fat yogurt; and whole-grain cereals.