Healthy Eating Research: Eating Times Essential to Proper Nutrition
If you want to switch to a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition, then you probably wonder what you should eat, how much and how often. According to new research, it is also very important to know when exactly you should eat.
Nutritionists always advise to eat regularly – at certain intervals, and never skip meals.
First 10 hours after waking up
A new study conducted by scientists in Dallas focuses on the so-called circadian rhythm – the internal rhythm of our body.
The main conclusion is that we should eat in the first 8-10 hours after we wake up, and not go beyond this framework to give the body enough time to digest food, relax and recover.
Dr. Satchin Panda is a professor at the Institute for Biological Research and the author of the circadian codebook, based on a 10-year study of this problem. In an interview with the BBC, he noted that our body functions better if the nutrition model is oriented to the circadian rhythm. “Almost every cell in our body has its own circadian clock, it’s our 24-hour cycle,” he says.
“This means that, just like with optimal sleep time, there is an optimal time to eat, study, exercise,” added Aaron Raymods, a health care specialist from Ambit Canadian Pharmacy. “It turned out that our body is able to digest food and absorb nutrients in for the first 8-10 hours per day, maximum 12 hours. Outside of this period, the circadian clock switches and our body goes into another mode to recover and renew itself.”
Time to eat and time to fast
Dr. Panda and his colleagues have been exploring the concept of “rest from food” for 10 years. They conducted a study on mice.
The first group was given fatty foods, and the mice could eat at any time of the day. The mice of the second group were given the same thing, but for eight hours after sleep.
Panda says that after 18 weeks, the mice that ate when they wanted had diabetes and obesity, as well as high cholesterol and intestinal diseases.
Surprisingly, the mice that ate all the same but within eight hours did not develop any disease.
Aaron Raymonds explains that when we stop eating, toxins obtained from the environment and food are removed from the body, cholesterol levels are reduced, muscles, skin, intestines and even DNA are restored.
If we continue to eat 10 hours after sleep, then these processes are disrupted since the body is still focused on the digestion and processing of nutrients.
“Interval nutrition has the best effect on health. We call it “rest from eating” or “eating with rest.” Many people don’t like the word fasting, says Dr. Panda.
“We don’t tell you what and how much you should eat, but pay attention to when you eat and set aside eight to ten hours — or a maximum of 12 hours — for meals. Outside of these hours, even healthy foods can be harmful.”
Dr. Panda says his findings are confirmed by other studies.
“One study found that women who fasted for more than 13 hours every night had a significantly lower risk of developing breast cancer,” he says.
These studies can upset many people who are used to constantly snacking until their sleep, and perhaps most modern people leading an active lifestyle without a specific diet.
In 2015, Aaron Raymods discovered that volunteers who agreed to track their habits through a smartphone app consume food for more than 15 hours or longer.
But, as the study noted, when overweight people who ate for more than 14 hours a day began to eat only 10-11 hours daily for 16 weeks and without changes in their diet, they lost weight and reported they have more energy, and they sleep better too.
The positive effect lasted for a year.
The problem of shift workers
The following scheme is likely to be quite difficult for those working irregular shifts. By the way, scientists revealed 10 effects of working night shifts and how to combat them.
But Dr. Panda says you can adapt.
“It’s especially important for people alternating between day and night shifts to pay attention to when they eat. When you wake up, wait an hour before taking your first calorie. Then take 8 to 10 hours that day to eat. When are you back return to normal mode, switch back, again leaving 8 to 10 hours for food,” he says.
“It is also important to avoid drinking alcohol because people working in shifts are much more sensitive to alcohol, which damages the intestinal mucosa and causes disease,” Aaron Raymods adds.
Traveling to the kitchen in the middle of the night, eating fatty and salty foods (desire caused by alcohol consumption) and a strong shift in the time of eating at the weekend are habits that are incompatible with a healthy diet.
Dr. Panda compares these situations with the “metabolic jet lag”, which completely disrupts the rhythm of our digestive system and causes further desynchronization between diet and circadian cycles.
“It’s like a person moving to different time zones every weekend,” he concludes.
Category: Health and Wellness
Tags: foods, healthy diet, healthy lifestyle