Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Are we eating ourselves there with what we eat?… or are predisposing ourselves to heart attacks with WHEN we eat? Although its common knowledge that the nutritional value of what we eat is a leading cause for heart disease, could it be true that even if you ate all the right things that you STILL may be at risk for having a heart attack?
Many of us have already made a run for the nutrition hills in pursuit of a heart healthy life. We’ve gone as far as changing grandma’s secret recipes to eat healthier, increasing our activity levels, losing weight, better managing our blood pressure and exchanging sugary drinks for bottled water. Kudos to these steps in the right direction however it ain’t over just yet. New research released today from the Harvard School of Public Health published by the American Heart Association is showing that it’s not just about what we eat but WHEN we eat that may contribute to an increased risk for heart disease.
In a prospective study conducted over the course of 16 years, the eating times and patterns of 26,902 male health professionals were evaluated to determine if eating patterns played any role in the development of heart disease. All participants were free of cardiovascular disease and cancer at the beginning of the study and modest differences in diet, physical activity, smoking and other lifestyle factors were considered. At the conclusion of the study it was found that those who skipped breakfast had a 33% higher risk of heart attack or death compared to those who did not skip breakfast. The study also suggested that men who ate late at night had a 55% higher risk of heart disease than those who did not.
Long story short, the timings of meals, whether missing a meal in the morning or eating a meal very late at night, may cause adverse metabolic effects that can lead to coronary heart disease thus a heart attack. So a word to the wise, don’t skip breakfast and nothing to eat past bedtime… you know, all the things your mother in her infinite wisdom use to tell you.