Research Update: Eating Late Can Have Negative Health Consequences

Last February, we posted an article that highlighted research on the correlation between eating late and your blood sugar. The study concluded that ultimately, when food is consumed late at night, when our glucose tolerance is lowest, the body is more likely to store those calories as fat rather than burn it as energy. Repeatedly eating late will ultimately lead to weight gain.

Another new study, led by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, has shown that regularly eating late in the day can have negative health consequences. Not only can eating late promote weight gain but it also has an unfavorable impact on energy metabolism and hormonal markers that are linked to health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

Lead author, Namni Goel, explains that, “previous research has already shown that sleep loss can have a bad effect on weight and metabolism, and that is partly attributed to eating later at night.” Beyond lack of sleep, the findings of this recent study suggest that timing of meal times on its own can affect weight and metabolism.

What did the study look like? 

For the randomized crossover trial, nine healthy-weight adults (5 men and 4 women) between the ages of 23 and 29, underwent 2 different daily meal time patterns; a daytime pattern and a delayed eating pattern. Both patterns lasted 8 weeks. Between the two patterns, the 9 individuals had a 2 week “reset” period to ensure that the first pattern did not carry over to the second.

The daytime pattern consisted of 3 meals and 2 snacks, all eaten between the hours of 8am and 7pm. The delayed pattern also consisted of 3 meals and 2 snacks but the participants ate between noon and 11pm. During both patterns, the participants slept from 11pm to 7am consistently. Researchers used wearable activity monitors to monitor sleep. Calories consumed and exercise were also held constant between the patterns.

Researchers measured 4 key signals (metabolism, energy use, blood markers and weight) at 4 different points during the study: before the first 8 week patter, after the first 8 week pattern, after the 2 week refresh and then again at the end of the second 8 week pattern. Upon first analysis of the results, Goel and his team found that compared to daytime eating, a delayed meal time pattern led to weight gain. Maybe more important, the results showed evidence of a less healthy metabolic profile during the delayed meal time pattern. This was shown in changes in fasting glucose, insulin, cholesterol and triglycerides. These findings confirm those of similar, but much shorter, studies.

What does this mean for you? 

At Medical Metabolic Specialists, we understand that lifestyle change is difficult but that is why we were closely with individuals to tackle the problem head-on, rather than suggesting a quick fix. This study highlights the fact that eating earlier in the day may be worth the effort to help prevent serious, detrimental chronic health effects. If you’re ready to break old habits and lead a healthier life, give us a call and speak to the experts at MMS.

Original Source: Medical News Today

Last updated on June 15, 2017, posted in: Healthy Tips, Recent research by
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