Monday, February 12, 2007

Don't Skip Breakfast

For those who always skip breakfast, you should stop that habit now! You've heard many times that "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." Now, recent research confirms that one of the worst practices you can develop may be avoiding breakfast because the frequency of heart attacks, sudden death, and stroke peaks between 6:00 a.m. and noon, with the highest incidence being between 8:00a.m. and 10:00a.m. What mechanism within the body would be responsible for this significant jump in sudden death during the early morning hours?

Platelets, tiny elements in the blood that keep us from bleeding to death if we get a cut, can clump together inside our arteries due to cholesterol or plaque build-up in the artery linings. It is in the morning hours that platelets are most activated and tend to form these internal blood clots at the greatest frequency.However, eating even a very light breakfast prevents the morning platelet activation associated with heart attacks and strokes. Studies performed at Memorial University in St. Johns, Newfoundland found that eating a light, very low-fat breakfast would help in modifying the morning platelet activation. Subjects in the study consumed either low-fat or fat-free yogurt, orange juice, fruits, with source of protein coming from yogurt or fat-free milk.

So if you skip breakfast, it's important that you stop this practice immediately in the light of findings from this research. Develop a simple plan to eat cereals, such as oatmeal or Bran Flakes, along with six ounces of grape juice or orange juice, and if possible a fruit or two. This simple plan will keep your platelets from sticking together, keep blood clots from forming, and perhaps prevent a potential Heart Attack or stroke. So don’t ever skip breakfast.


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