Don’t Skip Breakfast and Eat Mindfully To Prevent Heart Disease

If you are among those who often skip breakfast because they just not feel hungry in the morning or due to being too busy, then here’s some bad news for you. If you leave the house without having first meal of the day may harm your cardiac health, warns the American Heart Association (AHA) in its new heart health guidelines.

In a new scientific statement, the AHA said that the timing and frequency of meals play a role in keeping our heart healthy. For optimal heart health one should eat mindfully and always consider what to eat, and also when to eat.

A stupendous number of people these days tend to skip their morning meals, which is said to be making them more susceptible to heart diseases. It has been found that nearly 30 percent of American adults skip their breakfast so often. Those who skip having their breakfast, their likelihood of becoming obese and developing high blood sugar or diabetes increases significantly.

Marie-Pierre St-Onge, PhD, associate professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University and who helped make the new heart health guidelines, emphasized the need to eat breakfast regularly, avoid late-night eating and mindful meal-planning in order to lower the risk of heart disease, blood vessel diseases and stroke.

According to St-Onge, the timing of the meals is an important thing to consider as it has an impact on the body’s biological clock or circadian rhythm. “For example, later in the evening, it’s harder for the body to process glucose [sugar], compared with earlier in the day,” she said.

Several studies have shown that breakfast eaters possess better overall health than breakfast skippers. Those who eat breakfast tend to maintain healthy weight, have better blood pressure and adequate cholesterol. They also are less likely to have type 2 diabetes and heart disease, according to the AHA.

“On the basis of the combined epidemiological and clinical intervention data, daily breakfast consumption among U.S. adults may decrease the risk of adverse effects related to glucose and insulin metabolism. In addition, comprehensive dietary counseling that supports daily breakfast consumption may be helpful in promoting healthy dietary habits throughout the day,” St-Onge and her team of researchers noted.

The AHA has yet to make a firmer guidance on meal timing and frequency for a better cardiac health, but, for the time being, St-Onge and her team advise not to skip breakfast and to eat mindfully.

“We suggest eating mindfully, by paying attention to planning both what you eat and when you eat meals and snacks, to combat emotional eating. Many people find that emotions can trigger eating episodes when they are not hungry, which often leads to eating too many calories from foods that have low nutritional value,” she said.

The guidelines for a good cardiovascular health were published in the journal Circulation on Jan. 30.