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Friday, November 29, 2013


In a very recent study of Harvard School of Public Health, researchers tracked 27,000 men for 16 years.
They found participants who skipped breakfast were 27% more likely to experience a heart attack or to die as the result of coronary heart disease attack.
The increased risk was seen after adjusting for age and lifestyle factors – like obesity and smoking – according to the study.

Harvard’s report suggests the impact of skipping breakfast has less to do with calorie consumption and more to do with the stress it causes on your body.

“As we sleep all night we are fasting, and so if we regularly do not 'breakfast' in the morning, it puts a strain on our bodies that over time can lead to insulin resistance, hypercholesterolemia and blood pressure problems, which can then lead to heart disease,” says Leah Cahill, study author and research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Cahill says the timing of breakfast first thing in the morning provides the protection against heart disease.

“Our bodies need to be fed food regularly in order to maintain healthy levels of blood lipids such as cholesterol, hormones such as insulin and normal blood pressure.”
Many previous studies have touted the benefits of eating breakfast.
Eating breakfast fuels your brain, fuels your body, provides you instant energy,” says Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who is the associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

When you skip breakfast, blood sugar drops
below the normal level, you experience
cravings and a drop of energy. You again
revert to snacking on simple carbohydrates foods
to achieve a quick surge of blood sugar and
to overcome hunger and a drop of energy.
The insulin removes sugar from blood
turning its excess into fat. The body,
now low in blood sugar, experiences further 
cravings and a drop in energy. This vicious cycle
constitutes one of the major reasons for diabetes,
high blood pressure and extra weight.

“I like to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a peasant.”

You should eat a big meal, around 300 to 500 calories, within an hour of waking up, according to experts.

People who have breakfast tend to perform better at work and at school, and they tend to have healthier diets overall,” says Marisa Moore, a registered dietitian with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
When you don't eat breakfast you often end up overcompensating later in the day.”

According to diet app The Eatery's latest findings in conjunction with Massive Health, skipping meals is one of the factors that can significantly affect our health.

 But, of course, WHAT you’re consuming in the morning makes a difference.

Oatmeal with skim milk, a half-ounce of nuts and a cup of mixed berries is considered the ideal breakfast because it combines whole grains, protein, heart-healthy fats and antioxidants.

“If you are a lifelong breakfast skipper it can be difficult to get started,” says Moore. “But what I say is just try to start with something that's very quick and easy.” (here below you can find some ideas)

If this is not enough to persuade us to have an healthy breakfast, let's read what a Hartman Group research into eating behaviors and eating occasions found...
"Consumers who are overweight or extremely overweight are more likely to skip breakfast. Many obese consumers skip breakfast with the intention of reducing the number of calories they will consume that day, only to eat more later throughout the day"*.

Quick, easy healthy ideas for your breakfast 

The recipes below (from American University) take advantage of fresh fruits and breakfast staples such as yogurt and oats.

Dried Fruit and Yogurt:

1/2 cup each: prunes, dried apricots, dried figs, large raisins
Zest and juice of 1 orange
15 fluid ounces plain yogurt
1/4 cup toasted, chopped hazelnuts

The night before, place the dried fruit in 1-1/4 pints cold water, making sure it is totally immersed. The next day, place the fruit and 1 cup of the water in a small pan. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the fruit feels tender when poked with a fork. Stir in the orange zest and juice, then pour into a shallow serving bowl, cover and chill in the fridge. Serve spooned into dishes with yogurt and nuts.

Super Yogurt:
4 cups low fat yogurt
1 cup instant oats
1/2 cup low fat milk
2 peaches, cubed
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup almonds
1 orange, juiced
In a mixing bowl, combine the milk, oats, yogurt and orange juice and stir thoroughly. Place in the refrigerator and allow to sit for about 1 minutes.
Meanwhile, crush the almonds and then place in a saute pan. Toast the almonds over medium heat until the aroma of the nuts begins to rise (about 5 minutes). Top the yogurt mixture with the almonds, peaches and blueberries and stir thoroughly. 

Sources: Danielle Dellorto - CNN Medical Senior Producer cnn health
American Heart Association American Heart Association journal Circulation
* Hartman Group research http://www.hartman-group.com/acumen/Skipping-Breakfast.pdf