Eating Well

Eating Late Could Be Bad For Your Health

The adage “Call me anything but don’t call me late for dinner,” has been rewritten by researchers at University of Pennsylvania to read “Call me anything but don’t call me for a late dinner.” That’s because research at the school suggests that eating dinner later can add pounds and mess with insulin and cholesterol levels, all bad things. Penn Medicine News reports that the researchers studied nine healthy weight adults under two conditions, one of daytime eating (three meals and two snacks between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.) for eight weeks and another of delayed eating (three meals and two snacks eating from noon to 11 p.m.) for eight weeks. There was a two-week washout period between conditions to make sure there was no carry over effect and the sleep period was constant, between 11 p.m. to 9 a.m. The researchers found that people who ate later put on more weight than those who ate earlier. Respiratory quotient (the ratio of carbon dioxide produced by the body to oxygen consumed by the body that indicates which macronutrients are being metabolized) also rose during the delayed eating condition, indicating later eating led to metabolizing fewer lipids and more carbs. The researchers also found that several negative effects involving insulin, fasting glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Wait, there’s more. They also found that during daytime eating condition, the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates appetite, peaked earlier in the daytime, while leptin, which keeps you satiated, peaked later, suggesting that the participants received cues to eat earlier, and eating earlier likely helped them to stay satiated longer. That suggests that eating earlier may help prevent overeating at night.

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