Breakfast has been given the title of the most important meal of the day. It is also said that you must have breakfast ‘like a king.’ It is the first meal of the day that gears and powers us up for the coming day. That is why the importance given to breakfast is completely justified. But what if we told that skipping breakfast, a habit many of us are guilty of could be deadly?  A new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology suggests that people with unhealthy lifestyle habits such as skipping breakfast and eating dinner late had a four to five times higher likelihood of early death and increased chances of a second heart attack.

Co-author of the research Marcos Minicucci from Sao Paolo State University in Brazil said that ‘the inflammatory response, oxidative stress, and endothelial function’ could be the link between unhealthy eating behaviours and cardiovascular problems.
The study enrolled patients with a particularly serious form of heart attack called ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Among these, skipping breakfast was observed in 58 per cent patients, having late night dinner in 51 per cent, and both behaviours in 41 per cent.

The team recommended having a minimum two-hour gap between dinner and bedtime and eating dairy products (fat-free or low-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese), a carbohydrate (whole wheat bread, bagels, cereals), and whole fruits as breakfast.

There are some other ways in which not eating breakfast can harm your health:

It could make you put on weight: Skipping any meal, especially breakfast, can make you super hungry. We eat breakfast after a huge time gap. Our body definitely needs fuel to function. Mornings are also the time when we are the most active. When we don’t eat breakfast, our metabolism slows down. We tend to experience extreme hunger pangs. This could make us opt for unhealthy food all through the day. Ultimately, this results in more calories and weight gain. This could also be the reason behind childhood obesity.

It could lead to high cholesterol: A 2017 research in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that those who skipped breakfast were more than twice as likely to have blocked arteries or atherosclerosis. Interestingly, the study observed that those who skipped breakfast were more likely to eat unhealthy, indulge in alcohol and smoke.

It could cause diabetes: Various studies have linked skipping breakfast to high blood glucose levels. It has been established that skipping breakfast increases your blood sugar levels up to 37 per cent in the morning, in some studies.