What The Heart! You Are When You Eat & Not What You Eat
“No, you can’t have any more food, it’s bed time!” That was my mom back in the day. Can’t blame her, I had a freakishly slow metabolism, still demanded 10 snacks a day in between regular meals and would resort to the most dramatic, conniving food begging if she yelled no.
And boy, she was firm. The fridge was not an all-you-can-eat buffet. Food, healthy or not, had to be eaten only at set times.
Science now confirms the truth behind this 90s approach to parenting.
Allow me to elaborate.
The Circadian Rhythm – The Clock That Dictates Your Eating Pattern
The term sounds science-y but circadian rhythm simply means your body’s internal biological clock which keeps you in sync with cycles of day and night since you were a baby.
Unfortunately unlike an actually alarm clock, it doesn’t come with a snooze button.
For the first time in nine decades of its history, the American Heart Association (AHA) came up with a 27-page “scientific statement” on meal timing and heart health.
They looked at a large body of research and found that we are eating way too much, erratically and around the clock. This disruption in the body’s circadian rhythm puts us at an increased risk of diabetes, obesity, depression and heart attacks.
“Organs have clocks. There is a timing and frequency to give nutrients to your organs. In the morning you’re active and the digestive enzymes work at their maximum ability to process foods than night, when you should ideally be shutting down,” says Dr Nilesh Gautam, Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Asian Heart Institute.
So is breakfast the magical elixir to heart health? What if you don’t need a pick-me-up in the morning?
Shake Up Your Wake Up Really the Best For a Healthy Ticker?
The AHA studied 20- to 39-year-olds who devoured their brekkie religiously and compared them with the ones that skipped this routine – breakfast eaters were 31 percent less likely to be overweight or obese and have a fine ticker.
Now the fine print:
This makes sense.
Scientists estimate that 75 percent people feel famished within an hour of waking up.
That means the remaining quarter have a genetic predisposition to skip the first meal of the day or will their diet plans spiral out of control by dinner?
Bottom-line: You do you. Love your am fix of porridge? Don’t stop. In fact, add a dose of protein and take the fickle, ever-evolving world of nutrition science with a grain of salt on your avocado toast.
Snacking was a term invented in the 80s.
India caught up with it in the 90s and now there are all sorts of bizarre diet trends which advise you to eat 6 to 7 mini-meals in between the three big ones!
Does nibbling work? Or it makes you a grazing zombie who is stuck to the office vending machine with a stash of snacks?
Snacks does not mean a bag of chips. There is ample evidence to support that small meals work if you increase the number of meals and not the calories. Eat right and cap the calories to a maximum of 250 to 300 a mini meal and you will notice lower cholesterol, lower insulin levels within a month.Indrani Pavar, Nutrionist
Bottom-line: Rejoice! Science gives you permission to nibble all day. As long as it’s carrot and cucumber sticks. But eating more isn’t for everyone. If you’re like me and get ravenous when you see food, stick to the good old three square meals a day plan.