We all know the importance of ‘what to eat’, that is eating healthy, well-balanced meals. But we often overlook ‘when to eat’. Yes, the timing of all your meals, especially dinner (even if it’s just a salad), is crucial. It has a significant impact on your waistline, heart health and more.
Dinner is usually followed by sleep or enjoying a show online, giving your body little time to digest the food. It is, perhaps, the worst thing you can do to your body. Hence, most experts recommend that you must have dinner at least 2-3 hours before going to bed . If you still aren’t convinced, here are seven reasons to enjoy dinner before 7 pm.
Helps Maintain Healthy Weight
One of the easiest ways to lose those extra kilos is eating an early dinner. Studies suggest that it can reduce sudden hunger pangs and alter fat and carbohydrate burning patterns, which may help in losing weight. The only thing that you must keep a tab on is eating dinner early and at the same time everyday .
Good For Heart Health
Several studies have associated late-night eating with higher risks of poor cardiometabolic health . A 2017 study by Perelman School of Medicine found that eating dinner late at night and poor timing meals affected cholesterol levels, which in turn could increase the risk of heart diseases .
Brings Down Your Risk Of Diabetes
Several studies have shown that late evening or late night meals increase the levels of glucose and insulin in the body, which are associated with diabetes. Therefore, eating early dinner may help keep diabetes in check .
Decrease The Risk of Cancer
A 2018 study from Barcelona Institute for Global Health suggested that eating dinner at least two hours before bedtime could reduce the risk of developing breast and prostate cancer. The study found a 20% drop in the risk of cancer in people who ate early. This was in comparison to those who ate dinner after 10 pm or close to bedtime .
Reduces The Risk Of Acid Reflux
According to experts, having dinner late at night, and going to bed shortly after is one of the major causes of acid reflux. The discomfort you feel is increased if you have a heavy dinner. This happens because your body allows acids to spill out of your still full stomach and leak into your esophagus .
Early Dinner Can Boost Digestion
Your body needs time to digest the food you eat. Therefore, having dinner 2-3 hours before bedtime is ideal as it gives your body enough time to digest everything. A 2005 study done on 350 people found that eating dinner within three hours of bedtime reduced the risk of indigestion .
Late nights dinners can increase the risks of indigestion and heartburn which can both interrupt your sleep. This happens because instead of relaxing, your body is doing the hard labor of digesting the food you ate .
Changing the habit of eating on time and well before bedtime can be tough. But looking at the amazing health benefits, it’s sure worth experimenting with.