Eating breakfast may do heart good

Updated: Mar 28 2005, 06:17am hrs
Mom may have been right when she said breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A small study suggests that skipping that morning meal may be a bad move for the heart, and possibly the waistline. UK researchers found that when healthy, lean women skipped their morning meal, it raised their cholesterol levels and diminished their bodies sensitivity to insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels.

On top of that, the women tended to eat more calories on breakfast-free days suggesting that over the long haul, skipping breakfast could spur weight gain.

Dr Hamid R Farshchi and his colleagues at the University of Nottingham in the UK report the findings in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Some past studies have suggested that people who eat breakfast, particularly whole-grain cereals, have lower cholesterol and insulin levels, Farshchi told Reuters Health.

Along with past evidence, he said, the new findings suggest that making time for breakfast is likely to have long-term health benefits.

Whether one of those benefits is a smaller waistline is unclear. Some research, Farshchi noted, has found an association between eating breakfast again, whole-grain cereals in particular and lower body weight, but other studies have found no such relationship.