Eating late at night increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. It can also lead to weight gain.
According to research done by the University of Pennsylvania, snacking late in the night raises your insulin and glucose levels. These two factors are the main causes of type 2 diabetes.
Also, not timing your meals right can increase your cholesterol level and the risk of heart disease.
The research involved monitoring nine adults over two eight-week periods. During the first eight weeks, the adults were asked to eat 3 meals a day and 2 snacks between 8 AM and 7 PM. In the following eight week period, participants were asked to eat in the same way but switch their time to eat between noon and 11 PM. The participants were then asked to sleep from 11 PM to 9 AM in both cases.
The findings showed that when the participants ate late at night, not only did their insulin and cholesterol levels go up, but they also gained weight. The participants who ate during daytime were observed to produce a hormone which made them feel fuller for longer. There are several other studies which have been done that have proved that eating late at night is not good for you.
Here are a few other reasons why you should not eat late at night:
It can affect your memory
According to a study from the University of California, your cognitive functions can be negatively affected by late night snacking, and the ability to create long-term memories will be damaged.
It can make you have strange dreams
Research has shown that eating habits can affect your sleep patterns and dreams. Late night eating can lead to gastrointestinal problems, which can make you uncomfortable when sleeping and cause you to have a disturbed sleep.
In addition, eating too much of certain kinds of foods, such as dairy products and spiced meals can lead to sleep disturbances.
Increases the risk of a heart attack
Eating after 7 PM greatly increases your risk of suffering a heart attack. According to researchers at Dokuz Eylül University, late-night eating causes blood pressure to go up, especially if you go to sleep within two hours after eating. The damage done by this is far worse than the side effects of eating a high salt diet.
The researchers did a study, where they studied 700 grown-ups who had high blood pressure. Their goal was to see whether their eating habits affected their blood pressure. They found out that 14.2% of participants who ate their dinner early didn’t experience a spike in blood pressure while 24.2% who ate dinner late experienced an increase in blood pressure, which didn’t stabilize until the next day.
According to the associate professor of cardiology, Dr. Ebru Özpeli, at the Dokuz Eylül University, when you eat is just as important as what you eat. Therefore, finding the ideal meal time is crucial.
It creates acid reflux
When you go to sleep before your stomach has emptied, chances are that the acid in your stomach will spill into your esophagus and cause acid reflux. That means that some acid reflux problems come about as a result of your lifestyle. By changing when you eat, this problem can go away after a few weeks. Try to eat before 7 PM.
According to Dr. Jamie Kauffman, the medicines given for reflux might not always work. In some cases, these medicines might even cause serious side effects. Therefore, making a lifestyle change might be your best option.
It makes you hungrier the next day
When you eat late at night, you might end up feeling hungrier the next day. This is because of the high insulin levels that are produced by your pancreas, which in turn stimulates the production of more glucose. The pancreas produces a hormone called ghrelin which stimulates hunger. Ghrelin usually resets itself during that period that you fast between the time you eat supper and the time you wake up. But if you eat supper too late, then the process will still be going on by the time you wake up. This will make you feel hungry and will cause you to eat more, consequently leading to weight gain.