The secrets to long life still elude many researchers and academics today. Medical circles, however, have consistently stressed that maintaining a healthy weight holds the key to longevity. Carrying excess weight can set the stage for potentially life-threatening conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. While diet is integral to weight control, the timing a meal may be just as important in determining the risk of death. A new study has identified which meal of the day is most important to avoid life-threatening diseases.
The new study outlined how people who miss breakfast could be heightening their risk of early death.
For their analysis, researchers merged data from 5,761 adult aged 40 years and older.
According to the team, 82.9 percent of the adults indicated that they ate breakfast.
During a follow period of 12 years, 35.2 percent of participants died, with cardiovascular diseases accounting for 8.1 percent of the deaths.
The findings showed that breakfast eaters were less likely to experience mortality, compared to non-breakfast eaters.
The analysis accounted for lifestyle differences between skippers and eaters, such as smoking, alcohol consumption and exercise.
Those who consumed more than 25 grams of fibre daily experienced a 21 percent drop in all-cause mortality after multivariable adjustments.
Furthermore, breakfast eaters who consumed more calories and fibre daily, tended to be older and had lower BMIs than non-breakfast eaters.
Scientists had previously found a link between high fibre intake and low inflammatory markers, which they believe may explain the associations found in the study.
A previous report from Harvard Medical School that people who ate breakfast daily were one-third less likely to be obese than those who skipped it, and half as likely to have elevated blood sugar or blood-fat levels.
The report found that eating first thing appears to stabilise blood-sugar levels, which regulates appetite and energy variations, lessening temptations to snack in between meals.
It also emerged that concentrated calorie intake over fewer meals can put “unnecessary stress” on the body by creating unhealthily large spikes of blood glucose.
The body expends energy through digestion for the absorption, digestion, transport and storage of nutrients.
This process is known as diet-induced thermogenesis, which measures how well our metabolism works and differs depending on meal time.
Researchers therefore advocate eating larger breakfasts rather than larger dinners.
How to promote weight loss
The rule of thumb with weight loss is ensuring caloric expenditure exceeds caloric intake, and this can be done by eating the right foods.
Bupa suggests eating lean proteins to help curb hunger.
The health body provides the following tips:
- Make sure you eat a balanced diet
- Have some reduced-fat dairy or soya drinks fortified in calcium
- Eat small amounts of unsaturated oil
- Drink six to eight glasses of water each day
- Avoid adding salt or sugar to your meals
Bupa says: “So if you include a lean source of protein, such as skinless white chicken in your meals you may find that you’re not as hungry, so you eat less.”