Recent research appears to prove that your mum was right when she told you that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. A study that was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that there was a higher risk of early-stage atherosclerosis when you skipped breakfast or ate a low-calorie breakfast.
According to Nancy Sherwood, an associate professor in the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health’s Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, skipping breakfast or eating one that is low-calorie could trigger a “chain of events” that can make people overeat later on in the day. This overeating can cause greater consumption of foods that are unhealthy thus leading to greater risk of obesity and cardiovascular risk factors like buildup of fatty deposits or plaque buildups within arteries that can affect their functioning.
Mark Pereira, a professor of epidemiology and community health in the School of Public Health, said that the study can lead to the conclusion that eating a hearty breakfast can generally be corelated to better overall health as it might contribute to appetite control. This can help people adhere to dietary guidelines on a regular basis.
Participants in the study who ate “high-energy” breakfasts, or a meal which had at least 20 percent of their daily calorie intake, seemed to have the lowest risk for early stages of atherosclerosis. The study was conducted in Spain where people generally stick to the Mediterranean diet, which is supposed to be healthier as it comprises mostly lean proteins and more whole grain.
Good options for breakfast include whole fruit, whole grains, eggs and low-fat dairy while it would be best to minimize added sugars (which rules out most cereals), refined grains, and fatty breakfast meat.
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