How many times have we been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day?
A new study has yet again reinforced this point, as it found that people who skip breakfast could be significantly increasing their chance of suffering from a stroke or heart attack.
Spanish and American health experts followed more than 4,000 middle-aged office workers over six years for their research.
Their findings were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and the results strengthened claims that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
The researchers found that adults who missed the first meal of the day were more than twice as likely to have blocked arteries. This is the biggest single cause of heart attacks and strokes in the UK.
The proper term for the condition is atherosclerosis and it is so dangerous because it restricts the flow of blood and oxygen to vital organs in the body.
According to the NHS the condition is largely preventable with a healthy lifestyle. Many people are unaware they have atherosclerosis as symptoms do not show at first.
Of those studied, one in five ate a breakfast that had more than 400 calories. The majority started the day with a smaller meal but three per cent skipped it altogether.
The health of the office workers’ blood vessels was tested using an ultrasound. The results showed that those who skipped breakfast had a greater chance of generalised atherosclerosis, compared to those who ate a big meal.
Dr Prakash Deedwania, from the University of California, San Francisco, said, “Skipping breakfast can cause hormonal imbalances and alter circadian rhythms. That breakfast is the most important meal of the day has been proven right in light of this evidence.”
The study also found that those who skipped the first meal of the day were more likely to be overweight, to smoke and to have a poorer overall diet and health.
So what better reason to make a piece of toast for on the go or prepare some overnight oats for in the office? Maybe porridge is more your thing. Ultimately the most important thing is that you have breakfast.
Not only will having a nutritious breakfast reduce your tendency to snack, therefore help maintain a healthy weight, it is also super important for your health.