You may have been told time and time again that you shouldn’t skip breakfast if you’re trying to lose weight. Logically, it makes sense; if you’ve skipped breakfast you’ll be extra hungry as lunch time rolls around and therefore more likely to binge eat. Now, there’s a study to prove that skipping breakfast can put you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
The Link Between Skipping Breakfast And Bad Health
According to the American Heart Association (AHA) which reviewed previous studies there is a connection between the times at which people eat and their long term health.
People who eat breakfast tend to have lower cholesterol and blood pressure. On the other hand, people who skip breakfast are more likely to have poorer nutritional habits and more likely to develop diabetes.
The Effect Of Late Night Eats
The review also found that people who eat late at night may have poor metabolic patterns; we possibly already instinctively knew this as we’re advised to eat dinner early in the night.
“Meal timing may affect health due to its impact on the body’s internal clock,” said study author Marie-Pierre St-Onge in a news release. “In animal studies, it appears that when animals receive food while in an inactive phase, such as when they are sleeping, their internal clocks are reset in a way that can alter nutrient metabolism.” So the midnight snack probably isn’t so good for metabolism in the long term, but more studies will be needed before that’s totally settled.
Based on their review, the AHA made a few specific recommendations about healthy eating habits. For one, it suggests that people develop intentional eating habits, which can include planning a regular frequency and intake for each meal.
It also suggests trying to take in the largest amount of calories earlier in the day and eating a calorie rich snack a little time before a main meal to prevent overeating.
Finally, it suggests “intermittent fasting” over short periods of time such as a couple of hours or a day in order to lose weight.
“We suggest eating mindfully, by paying attention to planning both what you eat and when you eat meals and snacks, to combat emotional eating,” said St-Onge. The study concludes saying that further research needs to be done on the impact of meal timings and frequency on long term health.
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