A high-in-fat breakfast could be a time bomb, and eating even one fat-laden morning meal has immediate adverse effects on your arteries. A high-fat diet is linked to increased risk for atherosclerosis (narrowing of arteries due to plaque deposits), but studies suggest that damage that could lead to a heart attack or stroke may start sooner than was previously thought.
What’s the Worst Breakfast of All?
Whether you’re looking to slim down, build muscle, train for a marathon, or just protect your health, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. And a fast-food morning meal is not the worse choice. Instead, the unhealthiest option is not eating a morning meal at all.
Not only do people who skip their morning meal – or begin the day with only a cup of coffee – have less energy, worse moods, and poorer memory than those who eat breakfast, studies show, but they also face some serious health risks. First of all, they’re up to 450 percent more likely to become obese, which in turn boosts risk for a wide range of ailments, including cardiovascular disease, gout, joint problems, and even some forms of cancer.
A 2012 study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also reports that people who regularly skip breakfast have a 21 percent higher risk for type 2 diabetes. The researchers tracked about 29,000 men for 16 years and found that the increased risk remained even when body mass index was into account. Scientists suspect that a morning meal helps keep blood sugar levels stable during the day.
What’s the Healthiest Breakfast?
The right breakfast not only reduces risk for overeating later in the day, but also revs up metabolism, fuels your body and brain, and helps you maintain a healthy weight. For example, 80 percent of participants in the ongoing National Weight Control Registry study in America (which tracks more than 4,000 people who have dropped 30 or more pounds and kept them off for a year or longer) eat breakfast regularly.
Nutritionists advise including both lean protein and fiber in your morning meal, such as whole-grain unsweetened or low-sugar cereal mixed with non-fat yogurt, low-fat milk, or soy milk and topped with fresh fruit. Eating a filling breakfast helps people consume an average of 100 fewer calories per day, enough to add up to ten-pound weight loss over a year.
The Breakfast Food that Fights Belly Fat
Another study linked having whole-grain cereal for breakfast with reduced levels of cortisol, a stress hormone linked to both weight gain and a tendency to accumulate belly fat. A large waistline is the leading warning sign of metabolic syndrome, which significantly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and a heart attack.
Most people don’t eat the recommended three ounces of whole grains a day, which you can get from a slice of whole-wheat bread or a serving of cereal. The health benefits of whole grain include:
Longer life. A high-fiber diet can cut risk of death from cardiovascular complications by nearly 60 percent in people age 50 and older.
A healthier heart. Soluble fiber in oatmeal and oat bran reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol and total cholesterol.
Weight loss. Whole grains digest slower than refined grains, which keeps blood sugar levels stable rather than stimulating insulin.
Eat healthy and be healthy.