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Nutrition: not just how much and how, but also when to eat

May 20, 2019

Although the thing and how much have always been of central importance when it comes to food, one of the most underestimated aspects is instead that concerning the times of the three main meals of the day. Eating at times far from meals or even skipping lunches or dinners changes our metabolism and disorients our body. We talked about it with Professor Silvio Danese, head of the Center for Chronic Intestinal Inflammatory Diseases of Humanitas.


Wrong calorie distribution affects the metabolism

“Wrongly distributing calories throughout the day has a negative effect on our health, because it makes us lose out compared to the times dictated by our internal biological clock. In these cases, the metabolism can be altered and can lead, for example, to weight gain. In addition, you risk having more digestive disorders, such as reflux and dyspepsia“, said the specialist. But it is not just a matter of calories. The American Heart Association has released a study in the magazine Circulation in which it is specified that the risk of cardiovascular disease in those who have the habit of not having breakfast is 27% higher than the average, while a study published by the International Journal of Obesity also speaks of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, among the dangers of an unregulated diet”.


A healthy breakfast for activating the brain

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – said Professor Danese – never skip it because the brain slows down if it does not receive glucose for over 16 hours. If you are not hungry when you wake up, it is better to settle for a biscuit and a cup of coffee instead of completely fasting, as long as by mid-morning you have completed the necessary calorie intake, equal to 25% of daily calorie intake”.


Late lunch increases weight and waistline: better to eat little and often

Research by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, USA, and the University of Murcia, Spain, has related the habit of having lunch after 3 pm to weight gain and waistline. During the research involving 420 volunteers kept under controlled diet for twenty weeks, those who anticipated the meal lost an average of 11 kilos, which is 2.5 more than the latecomers.

Digestion is completed in a couple of hours – continued the expert – there is not a recommended time that is right to wait between meals but it would be good not to fast for more than four hours. Better to eat little and often”.


Carbohydrates: less in the evening and more in the morning

There are no restrictions on fruit and vegetables. They can be consumed throughout the day, without any problems. The distribution of calories during the day should instead be different if we talk about carbohydrates, for which it would be good to orient oneself to a decreasing consumption during the day. The principle is well expressed in the popular saying “king’s breakfast, prince’s lunch, poor dinner”.

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