According to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2018 in Chicago, eating a meal rich in calories for dinner can increase the risk of diabetes as well as lead to poorer cardiovascular health. The findings showed that eating the majority of a person's daily calories in the evening, post 6 pm may lead to an increased risk of developing pre-diabetes and high blood pressure, which can lead to diabetes and affect the heart. Every one-percent can increase in the number of calories eaten after 6 pm- about 20 calories in a 2,000 calorie daily diet- was associated with higher fasting glucose, insulin and insulin resistance, all of which are associated with an increased risk of diabetes.
According to the researchers, eating 30 percent or more of a day's calories after 6 pm was associated with a 23 percent higher risk of developing high blood pressure and a 19 percent higher risk of becoming pre-diabetic. As per the researchers, there is an increasing evidence that when we eat is important, in addition to what we eat and how much we eat. In the study, the researchers show that if you eat most of your calories before 6 pm, you may have better cardiovascular health. Your meal timings matter and eating earlier in the day may be an important strategy to help lower the risk of heart disease.
However, the researchers say that night-time eating was not linked to being overweight and obese or having central fat (adiposity). For the study, the team of researchers analysed the meal timing of 12,708 participants, aged 18 to 76, from the Hispanic Community Healthy Study/Study of Latinos. More than half of the study participants reported consuming more than 30 percent of their food intake after 6 pm.
The timing of your meals can affect your body's weight and overall health, regulation, metabolic health, et al. Here are some benefits of eating before 7 pm:
1. Better heart health
As Indians we are used to eating foods that are loaded with sodium; right from dal, papad, vegetables, et al. If we take these foods at night, it will lead to water retention and bloating, but most significantly risk of high blood pressure levels.
2. Sound sleep
Over eating or eating too close to you bed time could increase the risk of heartburn and indigestion, making it harder to fall asleep. It also prevents our body from powering down.
3. Weight loss
Restricting your meal window of 6 am to 7 pm may reduce the overall calorie intake drastically. This could be because you are most likely to consume fewer calories as the time you spent in eating has come down.