Eating breakfast and avoiding midnight snacks could reduce men’s risk of a heart attack. That is the conclusion of a large epidemiological study of male health professionals. More than 26,000 veterinarians, pharmacists, podiatrists, dentists, optometrists and osteopaths volunteered for this study in 1986. They were followed for almost 20 years.  Their eating habits were evaluated based on periodic comprehensive questionnaires.

The men who reported skipping breakfast were 27% more likely to develop heart disease during the study. Those who helped themselves to late-night snacks, like Dagwood Bumstead, were 55% more likely to be diagnosed with coronary heart disease.

Other analyses of this group of men has shown that those who skip breakfast are more likely to gain weight and develop type 2 diabetes. Not eating in the morning is associated with higher cholesterol and reduced insulin sensitivity. The investigators controlled for factors such as employment, smoking, marital status, sleep and physical activity. The experts seem to agree with grandmothers that breakfast may be the most important meal of the day.

[Circulation, online, July 22, 2013]

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  1. KATHLEEN V.
    Reply

    Good advice!

  2. DS
    Reply

    Intermittent fasting is said to be healthy. These investigators controlled for some factors, but there is no mention of how long these men fasted and what they ate. The SAD has mostly grains and sugars for breakfast these days. Eggs and saturated fats, which are health foods in my view, have long been villified. Grandmothers served eggs and bacon, whereas younger people serve toaster pops and cereal. Higher cholesterol in and of itself in not a bad thing. You live longer if your cholesterol is not too low.

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