Breakfast is must for a healthy heart

Breakfast has another reason to be known as the most important meal of the day, as skipping it may have a bad effect on the heart.

Researchers from the University of Nottingham in the UK found that skipping breakfast can raise the cholesterol levels and diminish the body’s sensitivity to insulin (hormone that regulates blood sugar) in healthy, lean women, Health News reported.

Previous studies have suggested that people who eat breakfast, particularly whole-grain cereals, have lower cholesterol and insulin levels. Recent findings suggest that taking out time for breakfast is likely to have long-term health benefits.

To study the short-term metabolic effects of having and forgoing breakfast, researchers analysed 10 young, normal-weight women who spent two weeks on each of the two diet plans.

Under one plan, women had bran flakes with low-fat milk for breakfast, then had two meals and two snacks through the rest of the day. Under the other plan, they skipped breakfast, but had the cereal around noon; as in the breakfast plan, they had two additional meals and two snacks during the rest of the day. Under each plan, women were allowed to indulge in a mid-morning cookie.

After two weeks, researchers measured the women’s metabolic responses to a test milkshake, using blood samples drawn before and after they had the drink. After the breakfast-free period, women’s cholesterol levels including LDL levels (bad cholesterol) were higher, and they showed poorer insulin sensitivity after having the test drink.

Insulin is released after a meal in order to escort digested sugars into body cells to be used as energy. But body can become resistant to the effects of insulin. Over time, this impaired insulin sensitivity can cause blood sugar levels to soar and possibly lead to type 2 diabetes which, like high LDL cholesterol, is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. The News

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