Skipping breakfast increases heart attack risk

It’s been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day—and now researchers have proved it. Skipping breakfast increases your chances of a heart attack, but so too does eating late in the evening.

People who regularly skip breakfast have a 27 per cent higher risk of heart attack or cardiovascular disease that results in death. Breakfast-skippers were also more likely to be overweight, have high blood pressure and cholesterol, and suffer from diabetes, which can all lead to heart disease.

The risk rises to 55 per cent if you eat very late in the evening, and after your usual bed-time, say researchers from Harvard School of Public Health.

The researchers had looked at the lifestyles and eating habits of 26,902 male health professionals aged between 45 and 82 for a period of 16 years. The men who skipped breakfast were also more likely to be smokers, were unmarried, were less active and drank more alcohol, but researchers say they accounted for these risk factors in their analysis.

Although the risk seems far higher among late eaters, so few people in the study actually did this that the researchers don’t feel they have enough data to definitively state it is a dangerous habit.

And the perfect breakfast? Try nuts and chopped fruits in a bowl of whole-grain cereal or oatmeal, they suggest.

(Source: Circulation. 2013; 128: 337).

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