If you’re a woman and you care about your heart health, then you should consume most of your calories before 6 pm, according to a new study.
The research and report come from the American Heart Association and the results were presented at their Scientific Sessions 2019. The scientists found that the factors for heart disease worsened when the subject ate a big dinner after 6 pm and worsened even further after 8 pm.
And yeah, this is mostly for women, though men are affected too, but on a lesser scale.
How a late dinner affects heart health
So, when women eat the biggest meal at night, they are fighting their so-called ‘biological clocks’, according to the lead author of the study, Nour Makarem, an associate research scientist at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
“We evolved to adopt a 24-hour light and dark cycle, meaning we eat and are active during the day and we sleep at night,” Makarem explained. “But our more demanding work schedules and commutes push everything later and now we are eating at unconventional times.”
And so, the reason a late dinner affects women’s heart health is that food cannot be metabolized as well during the night as it would during the day. Makarem also said that every organ system has an internal clock, as well as the master clock in the brain that has a more global control. And if the clocks are not synchronized, then the body goes haywire. Especially the clock in the chest: heart health.
If you’re wondering how many calories you’re allowed to have in the evening, you should know the current recommendation Makarem makes for good heart health is under 30 percent.
The study had 112 women subjects of an average age of 33 years old. The scientists first rated the women’s health at the beginning of the study. Some of the criteria: smoking status, physical activity, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Then the women kept an electronic food diary and reported on their eating habits for the first week of the study and another week a year later.