A heart-healthy diet starts with breakfast. Dosa, poha, paratha, puttu, upma, idli ... your morning options are endless. Yet, we often thoughtlessly skip this vital meal to get a jump start on a busy day at work or to catch some extra sleep. But what's the big deal, you may ask — is breakfast really that important, especially for your heart health? As a matter of fact, it is. Studies have shown that a good breakfast is extremely beneficial for your body. Breakfast, in particular, may be the most important meal in a heart-healthy diet. Here's why. Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels Count on it A heart-healthy diet is nothing without a balanced breakfast. Take a look at the research. Men who skip breakfast are 27 percent more likely to have coronary artery disease. Their weight, cholesterol and blood pressure also tended to be high, which puts a strain on your body and can lead to a heart attack. Not eating breakfast also meant they usually ate later at night, and that can also negatively affect your heart and weight. Having meals later in the day may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, and eating breakfast daily has been associated with lower risks of high blood pressure. Thus, it's important to focus on having a morning meal. If you're not into a huge meal in the morning, even eating a little can positively affect your heart, as eating small, frequent meals (that include a light breakfast) can help lower your cholesterol. Lowers Your Risk of Obesity and Heart Attack Breakfast and heart health go hand in hand. When you skip breakfast, you make yourself susceptible to conditions, such as obesity and diabetes, which can, in turn, lead to a heart disease. Eating a breakfast packed full of nutrients is a great way to give your heart a boost at the start of the day. It also helps kick-start your metabolism to burn calories and makes it less likely that you'll overeat later in the day. Minimises Plaque Buildup Breakfast doesn't just affect the cardiac numbers you see at your annual checkup either. A recent study showed that forgoing breakfast can lead to the development of plaque in your arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. A shocking 75 percent of the breakfast skippers showed signs of plaque buildup, as compared to 57 percent of those who consumed a complete breakfast. That buildup puts you at a risk of heart complications, including heart attack, high blood pressure and heart disease. Prioritizing breakfast can help prevent plaque from ever coming close to your heart. How you start your day determines how the rest of it will go. So eat a healthy breakfast with a good mix of protein, carbohydrates and fat to give your body the fuel it requires to seize the day. It does take some time and planning, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. It's time to get cooking! Disclaimer: This content is meant for awareness and educational purposes and does not constitute or imply an endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation of any products. Please consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner before starting any diet, medication or exercise.