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How does eating breakfast help the heart?

Ask the St. Elizabeth Expert: How does eating breakfast help the heart? (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - You probably have always known mom was right, but now there is some science to back that up!

Breakfast is “the most important meal of the day” but did you know why? Cardiologists and the Nutrition Team at St. Elizabeth Healthcare want to help explain.

“What we have is an association between eating breakfast and good things happening,” said Dr. Jeff Reichard of St. Elizabeth Healthcare Cardiologist.

Dr. Reichard is a cardiologist who says it appears food eating in the morning works against a common risk factor for having a heart attack and hardening or narrowing of the arteries.

What the study is showing is that the inflammatory markers are increased when you skip breakfast, so the same calories consumed in the morning, good things happen. But the same calories at night at bedtime, a cascade of bad things happen.

If you look at the research, there's no specific order for what you actually have to eat for breakfast, according to the team.

There are a few things that may be better choices and a few that might not, some research shows that many people eat the same nine foods every day, and the same breakfast, so getting something in that is nutritious and good for you can make a big difference in your overall health.

Sheri Kanarek is a registered dietitian who says there really are no “bad” breakfast foods.

“Anything in moderation is still fine. I love some good bacon in the morning sometimes, my kids love it on the weekend,” said Kanarek.

But lowering fat intake to reduce heart disease is also suggested. “Including some protein, squeeze some fresh fruits in there, then that's always a good thing,” said Kanarek. “A cup of coffee is not a breakfast. There's no calories-- cream and sugar do not count.”

Breakfast eaters in this study were also healthier overall. Those who skipped it had higher body weights, bigger bellies, higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

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