Are you rushing to work and skipping breakfast? Researchers say that giving up a meal rich in grains can harm your heart’s health and cause you to grow fatty tissues around your waistline.
Do you eat cereal for breakfast? If the answer is yes, you have a good reason to feel good about yourself because your nutrition habits are good for your health. Previous studies have found that people who eat breakfast, especially a diet rich in whole grains, have lower cholesterol and insulin levels. Some studies also found that people who eat breakfast rich in whole grains are thinner but other studies have not found such a link.
Researchers at the University of Nottingham in England tested the effect of breakfast on calorie intake during the day and on blood sugar, insulin and cholesterol levels. The study involved ten healthy women who kept two different menus, each for two weeks.
In the first program, the women ate cereal with skim milk before eight in the morning, and a cookie with chocolate between ten and thirty to eleven in the morning. In the second program, the women ate the cookie between ten thirty and eleven in the morning and the cereal was eaten for lunch. In both programs, the women ate two more main meals and two midday meals.
At the end of each two-week period, the researchers examined the metabolic response by performing blood tests. In tests performed after the breakfast-free period, cholesterol levels including LDL (“bad”) cholesterol were higher, and insulin sensitivity was lower.
Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. It is secreted from the pancreas after a meal in order to put the sugar into the cells in the body to generate energy. However, the body can be resistant to insulin activity. Over time, the insulin sensitivity disorder can cause an increase in blood sugar and type 2 diabetes. Both diabetes and high levels of LDL cholesterol are major risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
Another good reason for taking time off for breakfast is that women tended to eat more calories when they skipped breakfast. In the long run, skipping breakfast can cause weight gain.