PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- You've probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Now a new study is helping to further prove the benefits, especially when it comes to protecting your heart.
Researchers followed the habits of more than 4,000 healthy adults.
They grouped them into those who had a small breakfast, those who had a large breakfast and people who skipped breakfast.
The last group who didn't eat breakfast were found to eat more overall throughout the day, including more unhealthy fat. They were also more likely to drink alcohol and smoke and they had more risk factors for heart disease including high blood pressure and high levels of bad cholesterol.
The study can't prove skipping breakfast causes these problems, but it does show a connection. Experts say the best way to lower your risk for heart problems is to plan ahead.
"It's important to be intentional. If you want to plan a certain outcome, if you want to lose weight, if you want to eat healthier, if you want to exercise - it's important to plan your day first thing in the morning, or the night before so that you know exactly what you're going to eat as opposed to going about it randomly," said Dr. Haitham Ahmed from the Cleveland Clinic.
The study didn't look at what people were eating but those who ate a larger breakfast had the best results.
When it comes to breakfast, it's best to get some good carbs with fiber, such as whole wheat toast, some healthy fats from nuts or peanut butter and some protein from nuts or from eggs.
The protein will help keep you feeling fuller longer.
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Study reaffirms benefits of eating breakfast daily