Did you leave the house without eating breakfast again?
If so, you could be at risk for far more than low blood sugar.
In fact, according to a new study, skipping the most important meal of the day could leave you at an increased risk of atherosclerosis, or the hardening and narrowing of your arteries due to a build-up of plaque.
And, although you’ve probably never heard it from your doctor, eating a healthy, high-energy breakfast has been shown to promote greater heart health, including healthier weight and better cholesterol levels.
Let’s take a look at what the latest study found.
A high-energy breakfast for a healthy heart
The research, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, examined healthy volunteers. A computerized questionnaire was used to estimate the usual diet of the participants, and their breakfast patterns were classified based on the percentage of total daily energy intake they consumed at breakfast.
Three groups were identified — those consuming less than five percent of their total energy intake in the morning (skipped breakfast and only had coffee, juice or other non-alcoholic beverages); those consuming more than 20 percent of their total energy intake in the morning (breakfast consumers); and those consuming between five and 20 percent (low-energy breakfast consumers).
And, it was clear that eating a high-energy breakfast came with big benefits.
Not only was atherosclerosis observed more frequently among participants who skipped breakfast and or chose low-energy breakfasts compared to high-energy breakfast consumers, cardio-metabolic risk markers were also increased.
In fact, participants who skipped breakfast had the greatest waist circumference, body mass index, blood pressure, blood lipids and fasting glucose levels of all groups.
5 Artery-healthy breakfast ideas
So, what are some great high-energy breakfast ideas to promote better heart and arterial health?
#1 — Ginger Mango Smoothie
Combine one cup of vanilla yogurt with a cup of chopped mango, one teaspoon of crystallized ginger and a pinch of ginger in a blender and puree until smooth. This yummy breakfast treat will become your go-to way to start your day.
#2 — Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancake
Start with pancakes – you can choose whole wheat, protein or gluten-free depending on your dietary needs and top with two tablespoons of peanut butter, a teaspoon of honey and your favorite jelly. You’ll love this grown up PB & J.
#3 — Oatmeal and Berries
Combine oatmeal with almond milk and your choice of a sweetener, like stevia or agave syrup. Add in dried cranberries, raisin and even some nuts for a tasty high-energy breakfast treat.
#4 — Breakfast Taco
Wrap scrambled eggs in a whole-wheat tortilla with cheddar cheese and salsa to get your morning protein along with complex carbohydrates for a great morning boost.
#5 — Yogurt Parfait
Layer a low-sugar yogurt with your favorite whole-grain cereal for carbohydrates. Add some sliced berries or bananas and top with a handful of sliced almonds. This is so good, it’s hard to believe it’s healthy for you.
Eating a high-energy breakfast could keep you slimmer, your heart healthier and your arteries clear. Try the high-energy options above for the most important meal of the day and start your day right.
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Skipping breakfast associated with hardening of the arteries — American College of Cardiology