Last week, a team of researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health linked eating breakfast with having a healthy heart, and said that missing a meal puts an ‘extra strain’ on the body.
The study was conducted over a period of 16 years, and focused on 27,000 men between the ages of 45 and 82 years old. Across those 16 years, more than 1,500 heart attacks or cases of fatal heart failure were recorded. However, the men that skipped breakfast were 27% more likely to have problems with their heart when compared to those that started their day with a meal.
Dr Leah Cahill, one of the researchers from the team, stated:
The take-home message is eat in the morning when you wake up, preferably within an hour. The results show that something is better than nothing, but it’s always better to have something healthy and balanced.
Of course, this study focuses on males over the age of 45, and therefore may not be relevant to other groups. Victoria Taylor, a dietitian for the British Heart Foundation, explained that ‘[there would need to be] further research to confirm that breakfast has the same impact on the heart health of other groups of people.’
However, they don’t call breakfast ‘the most important meal of the day’ without reason. Research has shown that skipping breakfast has also caused weight management to become more difficult to control. The reason is simple: those that miss their morning meal will tend to snack on high-calorie foods, or eat more at their next meal, to make up for their hunger. Other research suggests that eating smaller meals more regularly throughout the day (as opposed to fewer, larger meals) helps to increase the body’s metabolism. Breakfast is a fantastic opportunity to get your day off to a healthy start, as it can be a great source of vital vitamins and minerals. Wholegrain toast, cereal or porridge with low-fat milk are all good choices, especially if you can incorporate fruit, too. If you want to try something a little more interesting, one of our favourites is crumpets topped with low-fat yoghurt, a drizzle of honey and a generous helping of fruit (strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are great together!).
Let us know how you get on with your breakfasts, either below, or at our Twitter and Facebook pages! We also have a whole host of healthy eating recipes available at our website – why not have a browse?
Social Media Executive
- Breakfast linked to ‘healthy heart’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Why You Should Eat Breakfast And the Best Times for the Rest of the Day’s Meals (healthland.time.com)
- The Benefits of Breakfast (thecitypointclub.wordpress.com)