To some it is like chewing soggy cardboard. To others it is the only way to start the day. Now researchers have come to the defence of lovers of muesli, Weetabix, Shredded Wheat and similar breakfast cereals with a study showing they really are better for the heart.
People who eat whole grain breakfast cereals seven or more times a week have a 28 per cent lower risk of developing heart failure, researchers found.
The risk of heart failure falls 22 per cent in those who eat the cereals two to six times a week and by 14 per cent in those who eat them up to once week.
The findings add to growing evidence for the health benefits of breakfast. Nutritionists say starting the day with an intake of complex carbohydrates, which take longer to be digested and release their energy more slowly, boosts concentration as well as being better for the body.
Previous research has shown that a bowl of high-fibre cereal in the morning can reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol.
Results from the Physician's Health Study in the US, one of the longest examining the link between health and diet, were presented at the American Heart Association's conference in Florida yesterday - and they seem to confirm the link. More than 10,000 doctors were monitored for 25 years with detailed annual questionnaires, including details of heart events and breakfast cereal consumption.
Four out of five said they chose whole grain cereals, with a third saying they ate them seven or more times a week, and a quarter eating them up to once a week. The study was conducted from 1982 to 2006.
Luc Djoussé, the assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who led the study, said: "There are good and powerful arguments for eating a whole grain cereal for breakfast. The benefits are not just for kids but also for adults. A whole grain, high-fibre breakfast may lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol and prevent heart attacks."
Source - Independent