Research reveals when you should eat

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According to a study, the risk of heart disease increases especially if women eat late breakfast and late dinner.

FRANKFURT – Anyone who eats a particularly late breakfast or dinner has a negative impact on their health and is more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. Avoiding many foods and meals, for example, due to increased or long-term stress, increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, warn the authors of an international study published in the journal. Nature Released in December.

Unlike other studies, exactly what was eaten and at what time was recorded, and study participants were not defined as having breakfast or “late” eating.

About the “NutriNet-Santé” study:

The study began in 2009, and since then more than 100,000 participants (79 percent) have consistently answered online questionnaires about lifestyle, nutrition and health. Questionnaires documenting all food intake over three days – with respect to meal sizes and times – were specifically evaluated. Factors such as being overweight or working at night were excluded.

Authors from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), The

Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Université Sorbonne Paris Nord in Barcelona and Université Paris Cité in Bobigny. (Source: Magazine Nature)

Prevent Cardiovascular Diseases: Don't eat at night and don't skip breakfast

Rhythms in the organs are regulated by the rhythm of what we eat each day – especially in the liver, but also in the heart, kidneys and pancreas, and blood pressure is also regulated by this. Other information suggests that eating late at night increases the risk of obesity, and skipping breakfast increases the risk of heart disease. “Insulin sensitivity and elevated glucose concentrations are highest early in the morning and decline throughout the day. This suggests that metabolism is primed to anticipate and digest energy sources at certain times of the day,” the authors write.

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A man grabs something from the fridge at night: Bad habits at mealtimes can impact health, a study has found. © Image Alliance/dpa/Lino Mirgeler

A new study shows that eating breakfast before 9 am and not eating anything after 8 pm is important to prevent heart and blood vessel diseases. Instead of skipping breakfast, it is better to change the timing of the meal and not eat for a long time throughout the night.

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Meal planning: Overnight fasting reduces risk of stroke

The study identified 2,036 cardiovascular diseases. Each hour of delay in first meal was shown to be associated with a higher risk of cerebrovascular disease, that is, diseases of the blood vessels in the brain, including stroke. However, no association was found between mealtime or number of mealtimes and risk of coronary heart disease (calcification of the coronary arteries).

Specifically, according to the study, these links include:

  • Every additional hour of delay in the first meal of the day increases the overall risk of cardiovascular disease
  • The risk of cerebrovascular disease is unrelated to the time of the first meal – but eating every hour in the evening increases the risk.
  • Additionally, the risk of cerebrovascular disease decreased with each additional hour of overnight fasting.

Anyone who wants to eat healthy for the heart and blood vessels in the brain will get this clear tip from the study authors: It's healthy not to eat anything for a long time at night. However, it is much healthier to eat dinner early and breakfast early than to postpone both meals.

The risks of the respective diseases were significantly increased, especially in women – and night fasting in particular reduced the chance of coronary artery disease. Another study shows how to reduce belly fat: including whole grain products.

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