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Related

What is a healthy breakfast?
It looks like your mother was right (she knew it all along). Breakfast may just be the most important meal of the day.

How many calories should be in a good breakfast?
How many calories should I be eating for breakfast? Most days I just run out of the house with a piece of fruit in my hand eating on the way to work. I only live about a mile from work so I walk every day.

Is fiber good for you?
Fiber is what your grandma used to call "roughage." It's not one particular food, but it's simply the part of foods that your body can't digest. Fibers are technically carbohydrates, but your body doesn't have the enzymes to break them down like it does with sucrose. As a result, they're not absorbed and essentially have no calories.


 

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Breakfast Better for More than Your Weight

I've talked a lot recently about how important breakfast is to your health (Fiber for Breakfast! 10/17/07) and your waistline. I've also talked a lot about fiber and its effect on your health (Whole Grains and Hypertension 8/15/07). In a study that just came out in the Archives of Internal Medicine (2007;167(19):2080-2085), researchers at Harvard University have discovered that high-fiber cereals seem to be even more important than we thought.

The researchers looked at data from a long-term, large scale study known as the Physicans' Health Study I. The data from over 21,000 male physicians were included in the data analyzed. Part of the study included a food frequency questionnaire which asked, among others, about the subjects' intake of cereal for breakfast, how often they ate it, and what kind of cereal it was. The questionnaire was repeated every 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 years after the beginning of the study. Information about the subjects' physical health was collected on a yearly basis.

Both sets of results were analyzed to discover any link between breakfast cereal intake and heart failure. Overall, those subjects who ate more breakfast cereal tended to have a reduced risk of heart failure. However, when those who ate high-fiber cereals were compared with those who ate low-fiber cereals, the researchers found that those who ate at least 2 servings of high-fiber cereal per week had a reduced risk of heart failure of almost 20%.

What this means for you

Once again: fiber for breakfast. It doesn't have to be cooked oatmeal; there are lots of great cereals out there for a quick breakfast. All you need is a splash of milk. Try Multi-grain Cheerios, Kelloggs All-Bran Extra Fiber, or another cereal with at least 4 grams of fiber per serving.

First posted: October 24, 2007