Click for Full Image Size
Listen to article

Whether it's a bowl of cereal, a stack of pancakes, or scrambled eggs, breakfast should be a routine
part of your day—every day. And not just because it makes you more alert, fends off hunger pangs,
and provides essential nutrients.

According to researchers, the few minutes you spend on this meal
can significantly affect the health of your heart. Cardiovascular diseases—which include heart
disease and stroke—are the number one killers of both men and women. There are many risk
factors for heart disease. Two major factors that are affected by our lifestyles are excess weight and
diabetes. In a study conducted by the American Heart Association (AHA), researchers found that among the 2,831 study volunteers, those who ate breakfast were less likely to be obese and to develop type 2 diabetes than those who did not eat breakfast. How? Let's see: having diabetes increases the risk of heart disease. Being overweight increases the risk of both type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Certain lifestyle habits, such as regular exercise and healthful eating, can reduce the risk of all three— overweight, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. When these findings are put together, they point to breakfast as an essential component to a heart healthy lifestyle.

How Breakfast Benefits the Heart

The exact effects of breakfast are not clear. One theory is that starting the day with a meal
prevents a build-up of hunger and subsequent overeating later in the day, overeating that can
lead to weight gain.