Now there’s even more reason to eat breakfast. New studies show that having a morning meal may actually lower your cholesterol. Grabbing a cereal bar, a muffin or some yogurt in the morning may do more for your health than you think.
Researchers recently tested a group of women to see if eating or skipping breakfast had any affect on cholesterol levels and they made a surprising discovery.
“The results showed that healthy women who skipped breakfast for a two week period of time had higher total cholesterol, in fact their total cholesterol was eight-and-a-half percent higher and their LDL, or bad cholesterol, was 15-percent higher than the women who ate breakfast everyday,” says Dee Rollins, R.D., Ph.D., Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine.
What’s more, the study found those who ate breakfast regularly not only lowered their cholesterol, but they had a better insulin response to eating and actually ate an average 100 calories less per day. But keep in mind that you still have to make good food choices.
“Obviously what we eat for breakfast is important. Something low in fat is recommended, cereal is a good choice even oatmeal is an excellent choice for breakfast,” says Dr. Rollins.
The bottom line is that regularly skipping your morning meal may be bad for your heart.
“This was a very short term study, so further studies need to be done, however researchers suspect if this habit continued over time these women could be at risk for weight gain and heart disease due to the extra calories consumed and cholesterol levels.”
It’s also recommended that you consume breakfast within an hour of waking up.
Baylor Medical Center at Garland
Revision date: July 8, 2011
Last revised: by Sebastian Scheller, MD, ScD