Why is it bad to eat before bed or to snack at night? All these habits promote weight gain. But researchers have even shown that this bad habit would be dangerous for the body in the long run. It promotes higher levels of insulin, fasting blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides, which increases the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes.
In terms of food, the time you eat is as important as your plate, according to a recent study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation cardiac care that can reduce cardiovascular diseases and accidents). And this is particularly true with regard to dinner, the fault with the biological clock – or circadian rhythm – which controls the succession of periods of activity and rest. Located in the brain, this “body metronome” indicates for example when it is time to go to bed with signs of fatigue, or when it is time to eat with the feeling of hunger. Eating (too) late at night can have consequences: dinner when the clock signals that it is time to sleep can indeed revive the “mini-clocks” of body organs, which creates a disruption of the system. And, one suspects, the body works better when it is coordinated. Let’s look in detail if Is It bad to eat before bed.
I – Why Is It Bad to Eat Before Bed?
Because Late Meals in the Evening Dangerously Alter the Metabolism.
If snacking throughout the day is particularly discouraged to maintain a weight form, nibbling at night would be even more because of the many health consequences. Beyond weight gain, this bad habit would be more dangerous than it seems according to several studies. […].
These studies show that eating too late in the evening can not only increase the weight, but also the insulin and cholesterol levels in the body. A gesture that also affects the metabolism of fats and hormonal markers involved in heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems.
“We know, from our sleep studies, that when you are deprived of sleep it negatively affects weight and metabolism due to food consumption at night but now these early results give a more complete picture of the benefits. to eat early in the day, “says Pr Namni Goel, associate researcher in psychology and senior author of the study.
1 – The Body Absorbs Even More Sugar
To conduct this study, the researchers called in nine healthy adults and asked them to eat at specific times for sixteen weeks. For eight weeks, participants ate three meals a day and two snacks between 8 am and 7 pm. Then for another eight weeks, they ate three meals a day and two snacks from 12 pm until 11 pm.
At the same time, they followed a good sleep routine: going to bed before 11 am and getting up until 9 am. Metabolic measurements and blood tests were performed at the beginning of the experiment, after the first instructions of food, and after the second instructions of food. These examinations allowed the researchers to measure the changes in weight, metabolism, and energy used by the participants.
They found that when participants ate later, their weight increased. But not only because of their respiratory quotient, that is to say, the share of carbon dioxide produced in relation to the oxygen consumed has also increased. A sign that the body has metabolized less fat and more carbohydrates. The researchers also found a series of other measures reflecting negative metabolic profiles: a higher rate of insulin, fasting glucose (blood sugar), cholesterol, and triglycerides.
2 – The Body Treats Foods Differently Depending on the Time
“Eating later can promote a higher negative weight profile and higher glucose and insulin levels, which are involved in diabetes, cholesterol, and triglycerides, themselves related to cardiovascular problems and other problems. health “, says Professor Namni Goel. By establishing a 24-hour hormonal profile, researchers also found that when participants ate early the hormone that stimulates appetite, ghrelin peaked early in the day.
Conversely, the peak of the hormone that makes you feel full, leptin, culminated later. Clearly, eating early allowed them to stay full longer so as not to “crack” in the evening and at night and not to nibble. “Although lifestyle changes are never easy, these results suggest that eating early in the day can help prevent these chronic, unhealthy effects,” said Pr. Kelly Allison.
It adds, “We have a deep understanding of how excessive consumption affects health and body weight, but now we have a better understanding of how our bodies process food at different times of the day.” To limit snacking, it is best to eat at a fixed time and to respect the rhythm of three meals a day, with starchy foods on each menu to be satiated. If this need is still felt, the Manger Bouger website recommends giving priority to “healthy snacks” such as dried and fresh fruits and dairy products.
3 – Eating Before Bed Increases the Risk of Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease
In addition to contributing to weight gain, Goel and Allison’s study shows that snacking late at night could increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
These researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have indeed found that eating late at night is bad for our health. This causes increased glucose and insulin levels, both of which are factors involved in the development of type 2 diabetes.
They also found that taking a late-night meal can also affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
II – Dinner at 6 PM, the Ideal?
And the case is very serious: scientists believe that the short and long-term consequences range from weight gain to increased risks of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. So when is it too late for dinner?
The studies are divided on the question: some researchers think that it is necessary to let pass 2 hours between a meal and bedtime, others affirm that eating at 18 hours brings the most benefits.
Another study showed that women who ate at 11:00 pm had poorer blood glucose control and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes the next morning (compared to those who ate at 18 hours).
Finally, another method is to move the dinner away as much as possible from the next breakfast (fasting should ideally last 12 hours minimum), which would allow good weight management.
III – An Example of a Study Conducted on the Dangers of Eating Late
Eat late, does not it make you feel a sense of heaviness? Or difficulty falling asleep and even restless sleep and poor quality?
Recent work by Dr. Namni Goel, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania presented at the 31st SLEEP 2017 in Boston, shows that eating late is not ideal for our health … explanations!
*** How Did This Preliminary Study Take Place?
The first eight weeks: The researchers asked nine adults of normal weight to eat three meals and two snacks between 8 am and 7 pm.
The following eight weeks: the same volunteers also had three meals and two snacks but this time between noon and 11 pm.
To better control their sleep, participants were asked to sleep between 23:00 and 09:00 for the duration of the study.
*** What Did the Researchers See?
– When participants ate later in the night:
They saw their weight but also their insulin levels, fasting glucose, cholesterol, and increased triglycerides.
Adiponectin, a hormone produced mainly by adipose tissue, involved in the metabolism of lipids and glucose, has seen its levels decrease.
Adiponectin is a key hormone in insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. It also has anti-inflammatory actions. Its decrease is observed during several pathologies including obesity.
– When participants have eaten during the day (between 8h and 19h)
The hormone that stimulates the appetite known as ghrelin has shown peaks earlier in the day.
While leptin or a hormone that regulates satiety shows an elevation later in the day.
These observations show that eating early in the day can help avoid overeating in the evening and at night. This is thanks to the better regulation of our hunger hormones (Ghrelin) and satiety (Leptin).
Through the results of this study, you now have reasons not to eat late in order to have good health.
In Summary on Why Is It Bad to Eat Before Bed
Because of the crowded and alert lifestyle, many people stay at the office to work extra. If they come home late, it is natural to eat. However, eating during the night has many side effects that can cause health problems over time.
We already knew that eating late can:
– Affect our memory.
– Lead to having funny dreams and therefore disturbing sleep!
– Promote gastric reflux.
– Even more hungry the next day by disrupting the hormones that regulate hunger and satiety!
The best is to eat light before 7 pm and dispatcher meals during the day !!!