Meal Timing Impacts the Heart

Eating by candlelight may be romantic, but you may want to start eating earlier for your health.

In the past, we have written about the importance of meal timing when it comes it weight loss on our blog for our sister supplement, Glucocil. We have seen in the past that eating during specific windows of time helped people. Studies have also shown that sticking to meals instead of snacks can improve metabolism. Now, researchers are saying that when women eat can impact their heart health.

A study looking at 112 healthy women found that eating meals later in the day was linked to more risks for heart health. Research with men would be needed to know if the find pertains to both sexes. However, an older study saw that men who frequently had “midnight snacks” had a 55 percent higher risk of heart disease. The researchers used the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7 to evaluate women based on seven different contributing factors of heart disease. Life’s Simple 7 are blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, diet, exercise, smoking and weight. Women who ate more calories after 6 pm were more likely to have high blood pressure, blood sugar and BMI than women who ate earlier in the evening.

This is worrying as polls show that more than half of women eat dinner after 6 pm. The women logged when and what they ate for a week and then again 12 months later. Most participants ate after six, but for every one percent increase after six, their heart health suffered. Those risks increased further after 8 pm.

So far, lifestyle approaches to prevent heart disease have focused on what we eat and how much we eat,” said the lead study author Dr. Nour Makarem, of Columbia Univ.’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. “These preliminary results indicate that intentional eating that is mindful of the timing and proportion of calories in evening meals may represent a simple, modifiable behavior that can help lower heart disease risk.

The problem, Dr. Makarem explains, might be our busy schedules. “We evolved to adopt a 24-hour light and dark cycle, meaning we eat and are active during the day and we sleep at night. But our more demanding work schedules and commutes push everything later and now we are eating at unconventional times.

Our metabolism slows down as the evening progresses as our body prepares for sleep. Dr. Makarem suggests limiting yourself to eating less than 30 percent of your daily calories after 6.
November 15, 2019

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