While previous reports had drawn connections between skipping breakfast and such conditions as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes, results of a Harvard study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation suggest the habit of skipping a morning meal increases the risk of heart attack.
This is especially significant because about a fifth of American adults are estimated to skip breakfast daily.
The study involved nearly 27,000 American men aged 45 to 82. Subjects were classified as health professionals with educational backgrounds in a variety of areas associated with healthcare, and the overall diet of participants was said to be healthy. Subjects were monitored over a period of 16 years, and the researchers estimated the increased risk of skipping breakfast at 27 percent.
The content of the morning meal was not a factor in the study. The study simply sought to determine whether eating habits—in this case, skipping a morning meal—influence the risk of heart disease and heart attack “regardless of dietary composition.”
While women were not involved in the study, it is believed that findings are largely applicable to women as well as men. The Guardian, meanwhile, reports that there is an ongoing parallel study focusing on women.
Why is skipping breakfast believed to increase the risk of heart attack? In short, the elevated risk is thought to result from forcing the body to do more in a shorter time. People who skip breakfast tend to catch up on their eating later in the day. As the Associated Press reports, “People who don’t eat breakfast are more likely to be hungrier later in the day and eat larger meals. Those meals mean the body must process a larger amount of calories in a shorter amount of time. That can spike sugar levels in the blood and perhaps lead to clogged arteries.”
All of this suggests that eating a healthy breakfast daily is likely to boost your heart health. People needing nutritional direction should be aware that Medicare provides nutritional services that can help a great deal when it comes to planning and sticking to a heart-healthy diet. Other Medicare services can help you stop smoking, receive screenings that can detect heart-related abnormalities, and make sure you’re on the right path to reducing your risk of heart attack. Some people are concerned about the out-of-pocket costs associated with many Medicare services, but with the affordable protection of Medicare supplement insurance, there is no reason for any qualified person not to take advantage of every Medicare service designed to reduce the risk of heart attack. After all, when it comes to taking measures to reduce heart attack risk, eating a healthy breakfast is just the start!
Please leave a comment telling us about your favorite heart-healthy breakfast!
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