LivingDining late and skipping breakfast: deadly combination

Dining late and skipping breakfast: deadly combination

They are deeply rooted customs in our country: you leave work very late, then you go to the gym, you do your shopping … in the end, you have dinner late, and very few people achieve the utopia of letting two hours pass before going to school. bed. About breakfast, three-quarters of the same: coffee in one hand while with the other you are already opening the door to run away, and what is supposed to be the most important meal of the day ends up being the great forgotten one.

Nutritionists have been warning for years of the importance of having a good breakfast and not having dinner too late, and now a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology adds a new reason to monitor these guidelines: our cardiovascular health is at stake.

The work focused on studying the effects of these unhealthy behaviors in patients with acute coronary syndromes and the results revealed that people who used to eat late and skip breakfast had a four to five times greater probability of not leaving the hospital alive. a heart attack or another within 30 days of discharge from the hospital.

The study included 113 patients with a mean age of 60 years who had suffered a particularly serious type of heart attack called ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). The participants had to fill out a survey in which they were asked about their eating habits: by ‘skipping breakfast’ it was meant not eating anything before lunch, excluding drinks, at least three times a week. By ‘dinner at the last minute’ it was understood to eat less than two hours before going to bed at least three times a week.

“One in ten patients with STEMI dies in a year, and changing nutrition habits is a relatively cheap and easy way to improve prognosis,” explained Marcos Minicucci, a researcher at the State University of São Paulo (Brazil) and one of the authors of the work.

You already know: “eat breakfast like a king, eat like a prince and dine like a beggar.” In addition, breakfast should be balanced: “It generally consists of a dairy product such as skim or low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese; a carbohydrate such as whole wheat bread or cereals, and whole fruits. It should represent between 15 and 35% of our total daily calorie intake ”, adds the expert.


Bad habits accumulate

Some studies have found that people who skip breakfast and dinner late also tend to have other unhealthy habits such as smoking or playing little sport, which have dire consequences on cardiovascular health. However, this work has statistically controlled for these variables, showing that poor nutritional habits have a direct effect on recovery after a heart attack. “Our research shows that the two eating behaviors are independently linked to the recovery of the patient after a heart attack, but obviously having a whole set of bad habits will only make things worse,” warns Minicucci.

“We also believe that the inflammatory response, oxidative stress and endothelial function could be involved in the association between unhealthy eating behaviors and cardiovascular outcomes,” concludes the researcher.

Reference: Musse et al. 2019. Skipping breakfast concomitant with late-night dinner eating is associated with worse outcomes following ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. Eur J Prev Cardiol. doi: 10.1177 / 2047487319839546.

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