Timing of meals could affect heart health - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Timing of meals could affect heart health

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Elena Alonzo now makes time for breakfast after years of skipping it.

"I always thought I was not hungry and now I realize how much energy this actually gives me," she said.

A new scientific statement from the American Heart Association suggests eating more calories earlier in the day may help keep the heart healthy.

"People who consume breakfast on a regular basis have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Marie-Pierre St-Onge who authored the statement.

St-Onge from Columbia University Medical Center says studies show eating earlier, when your body can better metabolize food, may lower heart disease risk factors like obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Spreading your calories across frequent smaller meals also seems to benefit the heart.

St-Onge says plan your meals and avoid eating because of stress, boredom or fatigue.

Reporter: If lowering heart disease risk is the goal, what's the best advice?

Dr. Marie-Pierre St-Onge: Consume a balanced diet, obviously, but if this can be done in the context of more frequent meals during the waking hours, not so close to bedtime, and earlier in the day that would be the ideal.

And that should start with a healthy breakfast.

"If we don't ritualize something it's really easy for it to fall away," Alonzo said.

The details appeared in the journal Circulation. Click here for more.

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