Planning meals and snacks in advance and eating breakfast every day may help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, new guidelines from U.S. doctors say.
Eating more calories earlier in the day and consuming less food at night may also reduce the odds of a heart attack, stroke or other cardiac or blood vessel diseases.
As many as 30 percent of U.S. adults may routinely skip breakfast, a habit that has become more common in recent years as more people snack throughout the day instead of sitting down for three traditional meals.
When people eat breakfast daily, they're less likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease like high cholesterol and elevated blood pressure. And people who skip the morning meal are more likely to have risk factors like obesity, poor nutrition and diabetes or high blood sugar.
When we eat important, as well as what we eat
Meal timing may affect health by impacting the body's internal clock. It’s thought our body doesn’t process sugars as well at night as it does during the day. Studies of shift workers have linked this late night eating with a greater risk of obesity and heart disease than a typical day job.
Breakfast and heart health
Population studies show that eating breakfast is tied to lower weight and healthier diet, along with lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Yet, studies that assign breakfast skippers to a daily breakfast don’t support a strong causal role of breakfast for weight management.
It's possible that some people who add breakfast aren't eating the right things or cutting back on what they eat later in the day, resulting in more calories but not necessarily good nutrition.
A healthy diet is heavy on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, poultry and fish. Eating well also means limiting red meat, salt and foods high in added sugars.
Advance planning can keep your diet on track
Mapping out what to eat ahead of time, especially for busy people who eat on the go, can help create a diet that's better for heart health.
Advance thought can also help people eat the right amount of food throughout the day and eat at the right time.
One trap for overeating is after dinner snacking. Night time eating is common and an easy way to add unnecessary calories and gain weight over time; people snack when in front of TV, computer and tablet screens.
Once dinner is finished, the kitchen should be closed. If your schedule is crazy and you cannot get to dinner until later in the evening, then eat light at night.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.