Eating late is more harmful to your body than you thought


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Evening snacks, busy work, or simply having a disorganized schedule may be the reasons we generally excuse ourselves for late-night eating, although we have probably heard on several occasions that this practice is detrimental to health, but as we do not feel the damage, what evil can it bring? In the web portal explain based on a study from the University of Pennsylvania why this habit could be even more harmful than previously thought.

Eating late is more harmful to your body than you thought

Compared with eating earlier in the day, prolonged delay can increase weight, insulin and cholesterol levels, and adversely affect fat metabolism, and hormone markers involved in heart disease, diabetes and other problems of Health.

The findings provide the first experimental evidence on the metabolic consequences of a consistent feeding delay compared to diurnal food, and were presented at SLEEP 2017, the 31st Annual Professional Societies Association of Sleep Societies on Sunday.

"We know from our sleep-loss studies that when you are deprived of sleep, it negatively affects your weight and metabolism in part because of last-minute food, but now these early results, which control sleep, give a more complete picture Of the benefits of eating earlier in the day, "says Namni Goel, an associate professor of psychology research at the Division of Sleep and Chronobiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and lead author of the ongoing study .

"Eating later can promote a negative profile of weight, energy and hormone markers, such as higher glucose and insulin, which are involved in diabetes, and cholesterol and triglycerides, which are related to cardiovascular problems and other conditions of Health".

In the study, nine healthy weight adults underwent two conditions, one of daytime eating (three meals and two snacks between 8 am and 7 pm) for eight weeks and another of delayed eating (three meals and two snacks eating from noon to 11 pm) for eight weeks. There was a two-week washout period between conditions to make sure there was no carry over effect. The sleep period held constant, between 11 pm and 9 am.

Participants had metabolic measures taken and blood drawn at the beginning, after the first eating condition, after the two-week washout, and after the second eating condition. This allowed the team to measure changes in weight, metabolism, and energy used, and made sure the two-week washout allowed all measures to return to baseline before the next condition.

The team found that when participants ate later, compared to the daytime condition, weight increased. Respiratory quotient, i.e. 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 a series of other measures reflecting negative metabolic profiles increased in the delayed condition, including insulin, fasting glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

Conducting a 24-hour hormonal profile, 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. This suggests that eating earlier may help prevent overeating in the evening and at night. As sleep-wake cycles were constant, melatonin levels remained constant in both groups.

“While lifestyle change is never easy, these findings suggest that eating earlier in the day may be worth the effort to help prevent these detrimental chronic health effects,” says Kelly Allison, associate professor of psychology in psychiatry and director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders, and senior author of the study.

“We have an extensive knowledge of how overeating affects health and body weight, but now we have a better understanding of how our body processes foods at different times of day over a long period of time.”

Similar yet much shorter previous studies have suggested similar results, but this is the first long-term study looking at the timing of eating patterns that also controlled for sleep-wake cycles, exercise, macronutrient intake, etc. to pinpoint the effects of prolonged eating at different times of day.

The National Institutes of Health funded the work. Additional authors of the study are from Penn and Johns Hopkins University.

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