Skipping Breakfast Linked with Early Death

We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and new research that gives credence to this belief has found that skipping breakfast could significantly increase your risk of premature death as a result of cardiovascular disease. 

According to a recent CNN Health report, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that skipping the first meal of the day may be linked with early death, especially from a stroke.  Researchers at the University of Iowa, after accounting for variables like age, sex, race, diet, lifestyle, weight and socioeconomic standing, discovered that people who never ate breakfast has an 87 percent greater risk for cardiovascular death than those who had breakfast every day. 

Skipping breakfast is linked with several of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease including diabetes, high blood pressure and unhealthy levels of cholesterol or triglycerides.  Regularly skipping breakfast is strongly related to an increased risk for these disorders that contribute to heart disease and stroke.   Missing breakfast is also associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome. 

Recently, proponents of intermittent fasting suggest that restricting your eating window to 8 to 10 hours each day could offer health benefits including maintaining a healthy weight and preventing chronic health conditions.   However, researchers warn against long periods of not eating, suggesting limiting fasting to 12 hours each day and skipping dinner rather than breakfast or lunch. 

What constitutes a healthy breakfast?  

Try to include 3 or more food groups; carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats for energy that will carry through until lunchtime.  Strive to balance whole grains, fruits and vegetables with a protein such as eggs, unsweetened Greek yogurt or plain ground peanuts or almonds(without added salt and sugar).  Overnight oats with berries and a few nuts or a quick veggie and egg scramble are fast, healthy choices.   Stay away from processed foods with high sugar, simple carbohydrates and low fiber content. 

For more breakfast ideas at home and on the road, check out the Cleveland Clinic’s Health Essentials webpage