Heart Attack Risk Increases The Later You Eat Dinner
It is no secret that your diet and lifestyle choices have a direct effect on your heart. Choosing meals low in sodium and keeping an active lifestyle can lower blood pressure and decrease the chances of a heart attack, but research has now found that the timing of your meals may be just important as the nutrients you put in your body.
If you tend to eat dinner at a later hour, you may want to rethink when you sit down for your evening meal!
Researchers have monitored the eating habits of 700 individuals with high blood pressure. Their distinct diet, the time they ate dinner, the amount of salt consumed, and if they decided to eat breakfast were all taken into account. The research concluded that the time they decided to sit down for dinner had the biggest impact on their overnight blood pressure.
Having dinner within two hours of going to sleep provided more heart damage than a diet high in salt, which makes timing your meals especially important for those suffering from hypertension.
Those who chose to eat dinner later in the evening were twice as likely to not see a drop in their blood pressure overnight, greatly increasing the chance of a heart attack. Your blood pressure is supposed to fall by at least 10% overnight, to allow your body to rest.
Of the adults that took place in the study that ate within two hours of bedtime, 24.2% did not see a drop in blood pressure overnight. Individuals who ate their evening meal earlier showed more positive results, with just 14.2% seeing no blood pressure drop overnight.
Experts conclude that eating late leaves the body in a state of alertness, which contributes to increased stress hormones and overworking the heart.
Dr. Ebru Özpelit, associate professor of Cardiology, Dokuz Eylül University, Izmir, believes that sporadic eating patterns can lead to long-term heart problems. “Eating breakfast is important, we should have a strong breakfast, we shouldn’t skip lunch. We must have a small dinner and it mustn’t be later than 7 o’clock in the evening,” she stated.
"Late night eating and skipping breakfast is such an erratic eating pattern which is becoming more prevalent day by day," she explained.
The conclusion? Eating your last meal earlier in the evening may help you gain control of your blood pressure and prevent you from developing heart disease or suffering a heart attack. Keeping your meals on a tight schedule may benefit your health immensely—consistency is key to heart health!