Eating breakfast has been associated with a lower heart disease risk, according to a recent statement from the American Heart Association (AHA).
In an AHA study, researchers found that people who ate breakfast daily were less likely to experience cholesterol and blood pressure issues. People who skip breakfast experience a greater risk for obesity, inadequate nutrition, impaired glucose metabolism and diabetes, according to the study. About 20-30 percent of U.S. adults skip breakfast, the AHA says.
Marie-Pierre St-Onge, an associate professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University, said it’s important to plan your meals. Recent research has shown meal planning and meal frequency impact risk factors for stroke, obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose levels, and insulin resistance.
“We suggest eating mindfully, by paying attention to planning both what you eat and when you eat meals and snacks, to combat emotional eating,” St-Onge said. “Many people find that emotions can trigger eating episodes when they are not hungry, which often leads to eating too many calories from foods that have low nutritional value.”
The jury is still out on how many meals and what frequency of meals are ideal for optimal heart health. The big take away from this announcement is that if you aren’t currently eating breakfast, it’s probably a good idea to start unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.