When you’re busy showering, brushing your teeth and performing the other tasks associated with your morning routine, you may overlook eating breakfast. Statistics show one in 10 Americans are guilty of skipping breakfast. While waiting until lunchtime to eat sounds harmless, though, it could backfire.
According to a study cited by CNN, skipping breakfast increases the risk of dying from heart disease. Researchers at the University of Iowa (UI) found that men and women who never ate breakfast were nearly twice as likely to die from heart disease than men and women who ate breakfast regularly.
For the study, a team of researchers led by Dr. Wei Bao at the UI analyzed self-reported data from over 6,500 middle-aged men and women. Researchers found several alarming correlations between breakfast-eating habits and participants’ health. In addition to a higher risk of heart disease-related mortality, participants who rarely or never ate breakfast were more likely to suffer a stroke.
How does skipping breakfast contribute to heart disease and stroke? When you sleep at night, your body will enter a fasting period in which it doesn’t receive any food or energy. Therefore, your blood sugar levels will likely be low during the mornings. Eating breakfast helps to regulate your blood sugar levels by providing your body with carbs that it can convert into glucose.
Eating breakfast also stimulates your body’s metabolism to protect against weight gain, which could otherwise cause high blood pressure and diabetes. If you constantly skip breakfast, on the other hand, your metabolism will drop, making it difficult to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
To reap the benefits of breakfast, you should choose nutritious foods and beverages that aren’t loaded in saturated fat, sodium or sugar. If you grab a bowl of sugar-fortified cereal every morning, it may cause your blood sugar to spike above normal levels. Instead, choose a nutritious breakfast like scrambled eggs with whole wheat toast and fruit.
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