Skipping Breakfast - a Risk Factor for Heart Disease

Everyone knows that the types of foods you eat have a major impact on your health. As it turns out, when you eat could be almost as important. A new study published July 23, 2013, in the journal Circulation revealed that men who skip breakfast are 27 percent more likely to develop heart disease than men who begin each day with a meal. And men who eat late at night have a 55 percent higher risk for cardiovascular disease than those who go to bed on an empty stomach.

Previous trials have shown that adults who skip meals are more likely to exhibit certain cardiovascular risk factors, such as excessive body weight, hypertension, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. Habitually skipping breakfast, for example, can increase your chances for significant weight gain by 15 percent and heighten your risk for type 2 diabetes by over 20 percent. Until now, however, no study has linked poor eating patterns to coronary heart disease.

While people who skip breakfast may also engage in other behaviors that increase cardiac risk – smoking, physical inactivity or consuming too much alcohol, for example – missing the most important meal of the day might confer some physiologic costs that are independent of these behaviors. Compared to people who spread their daily energy intake over three or more meals, individuals who consume all of their daily caloric needs at one sitting tend to have higher LDL-C, triglyceride, apolipoprotein-B and blood pressure levels.

Finally, breakfast is more likely than any other meal to be composed of healthier foods, such as yogurt, fruit or whole-grain cereal or breads. When these foods are chronically supplanted by less wholesome items, the undesirable effects begin to stack up.

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