The old adage “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” seems to have some merit. Adults who skip breakfast are 22% more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and 25% more likely to suffer premature mortality than those who typically eat a morning meal. That’s according to a meta-analysis, published in Clinical Nutrition, that examined seven studies (conducted through June 2019) involving a total of 221,732 participants.

Going hungry in the morning may make it harder for people to meet all their nutrient needs for good health or may set them up for less-healthy eating habits later in the day. A growling stomach can be a recipe for making poor food choices.

Of note, this study did not address the types of breakfast foods that provide the biggest longevity benefits. Certainly, rolling out of bed and spooning up a bowl of sugary cereal with a side of bacon would not bring about the same heart-health perks as more wholesome options like oatmeal, fruit and yogurt.