Can eating breakfast help your heart?

Can eating breakfast help your heart?

Breakfast is often labeled the most important meal of the day. But can eating breakfast help your heart?

According to the American Heart Association, several studies indicate eating breakfast every morning may help lower the risk of heart disease.

“Eating breakfast daily can help regulate appetite, improve metabolism, lower blood pressure and promote overall cardiovascular health,” explained Dr. Hetal Gandhi, a cardiologist with Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, IL

Conversely, people who skip breakfast may be at greater risk of adverse health outcomes including coronary artery disease, hypertension and cardiovascular mortality.

A study published by the National Library of Medicine found that people who regularly skipped breakfast were about 21% more likely to suffer a cardiovascular event – like a heart attack – than people who regularly ate breakfast.

“People who skip breakfast may consume more calories and added sugar the rest of the day,” noted Dr. Gandhi. “They may also experience a lack of energy making them less likely to exercise which can negatively impact heart health.”

Before you reach for the nearest donut or cinnamon roll, it’s important to think about what type of breakfast foods are best for your heart. Choose foods that are rich in protein, fiber and antioxidants.

“There are several healthy options to consider, including whole-grain cereals with skim milk, avocado on whole-grain toast, Greek yogurt or a hard-boiled egg,” shared Dr. Gandhi.

If you struggle with making time for breakfast, opt for a quick grab-and-go option like a piece of fruit or a smoothie.

Looking for more tips for a healthy breakfast on the go? Click here for some tips and recipes.

Find out your risk for heart disease by taking our simple and easy Heart Risk Assessment.

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  1. I start breakfast by mashing a banana for a natural sweetness, a few shakes of cinnamon and two tablespoons of oatmeal. (I use water for liquid because of kidney stones; most of my colon is gone). I advise against instant packs because they have salt added and they cost more per serving than the oatmeal from the tall round box. When I started this, I saw a drop in my cholesterol.

About the Author

Elizabeth Blasko
Elizabeth Blasko

Elizabeth Blasko is a public affairs coordinator with Advocate Aurora Health. She studied public relations and nonprofit leadership at Western Michigan University. Prior to joining Advocate Aurora Health Elizabeth worked at Bernie’s Book Bank, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing book ownership among underserved children. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, watching auto racing, spending time with family and keeping active with her rescue dog, Bristol.