Skipping breakfast and why saving time may not save your health

(Photo: A Laczek)

Skipping breakfast may be the norm for some people in the morning mayhem but it may do us more harm than good in the long term.

A study in the US has found that eating breakfast could in fact keep the heart healthy.

Researchers analysed questionnaire data and tracked the health of over 26,000 male health professionals over a 16-year period.

They found that those who had missed breakfast had a 27 per cent higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease than those who reported eating a morning meal.

The research published in the American Heart Association journal 'Circulation', also found that men who went without breakfast were also more likely to be smokers, employed full time, unmarried, less physically active and drink more alcohol.

As the research only looked at men over the age of 45, Victoria Taylor, Senior Dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said more research was needed to confirm whether skipping breakfast had the same health implications for people in other age groups.

However, she said eating breakfast would make snacking less tempting and help people get their five-a-day.

"In the morning rush it can be all too easy to skip breakfast, but this study suggests this could have a bigger impact on our health than we might think," she said.

"What we do know is that a healthy and filling breakfast can make that mid-morning biscuit less tempting, as well as giving you another opportunity to widen the variety of foods in your diet.

"Wholegrain toast or cereals, like porridge with low fat milk, are a good way to start the day. Try a sliced banana or dried fruit on top and you'll be on your way to five-a-day before you've even left the house."

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