Chicago (CBS) – A new study suggests adults who eat breakfast more often are less likely to gain weight and develop dangerous belly fat. Eating a regular meal in the morning could help you stay slim.

Mayo Clinic researchers analyzed the breakfast habits of about 350 adults. They found people who ate breakfast regularly only gained about three pounds over the past year. People who ate breakfast occasionally put on five pounds, while people who skipped a morning mean entirely gained eight pounds and developed dangerous belly fat.

“It’s the fat that produces toxins that damage the blood vessels,” explains Dr. Virend Somers, a Cardiologist at Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Somers says researchers are still working to figure out the correlation between breakfast and weight. His theory, “If you eat breakfast, if you eat a good breakfast in the morning, you’re less likely to be hungry during the course of the day.”

Researchers say making breakfast a habit for young people could help them maintain a healthy weight as adults.

Dr. Somers says people should generally stick to healthier foods in the morning, like protein and healthy carbs. He suggests trying to avoid high density, sugar-filled foods.

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