NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — How often did your mother tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day?

Well, it turns out mom was right — very right. As CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported, new study says that skipping breakfast dramatically increases your risk for heart disease.

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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.

But it’s not how many people choose to start their day.

“Coffee all the time, just coffee,” one man said. “For the whole morning.”

“I had half a banana,” one woman said. “It’s always a half of something. It’s a portion thing.”

That approach to breakfast is not just bad for your metabolism, it’s also very bad for your heart.

“If you have a high energy breakfast, you have much less atherosclerotic diseases than if you skip breakfast,” Mount Sinai Hospital Physician-In-Chief Dr. Valentin Fuster said.

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The internationally renowned cardiologist led the Spanish study of more than 4,000 volunteers. He explains that high energy breakfast eaters were those who consumed 20 percent or more of their daily calories at breakfast.

He says that’s compared to breakfast skippers, who see an increase in arterial disease by 25 to 50 percent.

“That’s a lot, and you know the reason why we are doing this is because if we can do the disease at this stage, we know that this disease will lead to heart attacks and strokes,” Dr. Fuster said.

Interestingly, what people ate seemed to be less important than whether or not they actually ate breakfast, especially a high energy breakfast.

It seems to affect the part of the brain that tells you when to eat.

“People who skip breakfast, they begin to eat at very odd hours and they eat the wrong foods,” Dr. Fuster said. “And what we find is these people have higher cholesterol, they become overweight.”

Dr. Fuster says a good breakfast might include juice, fruit, cereal, nuts, and even some lean protein from an egg or yogurt. Occasional meat and toast with olive oil and jam is okay too.

Just make sure to stay away from a steady diet of donuts and muffins.

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The amount of blockage in subjects’ arteries was measured with state of the art ultrasound scans.