Delaying breakfast and dinner increases chances of heart attack, stroke: Study

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The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, analysed data from above 100,000 individuals and followed up on them for about seven years.

The study found approximately 2,000 instances of cardiovascular diseases, encompassing heart attacks and strokes.

Best time for the first meal

The study found that delaying the first meal of the day was linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

It also noted that each additional hour of delay led to an increase of six per cent in cerebrovascular disease.

The research also made clear that no significant risk was associated with the number of times an individual ate.

Best time for the last meal

The study also revealed that consuming dinner after 9 pm was associated with a 28 per cent higher likelihood of experiencing a stroke or (transient ischemic attack) TIA.

This is attributed to the alignment of our natural eating patterns with earlier meals. The study suggests potential impacts on blood sugar and blood pressure due to later digestion, as observed in animal studies.

Elevated blood pressure during the evening, a time when it typically drops, may cause long-term damage to blood vessels, potentially leading to blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes.

However, it is emphasised that further research is necessary, and meal timing might not have as significant an impact as an unhealthy diet.

The research underlines that having dinner after 9 pm doesn’t heighten the risk of coronary heart problems. Still, each hour delay in dinner is associated with an 8 per cent increase in stroke or TIA likelihood.

Benefits of overnight fasting

Additionally, the research suggests potential health benefits of longer overnight fasting, indicating a 7 per cent risk reduction in strokes for every additional hour of overnight fasting.

This correlation primarily relates to individuals consuming dinner early and fasting longer before breakfast, rather than adopting the strategy of late dining followed by a delayed breakfast.


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