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When you eat can be as important as what you eat

Jan. 30, 2017 Maggie Fox

Remember good old breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Americans have pretty much thrown that out the window, the American Heart Association says. And that may affect how much weight we are putting on. In fact, it might be a good idea to plan when to eat as much as what to eat, the group says in a new scientific statement.

“This study clearly demonstrated that adults in the United States eat around the clock,” the American Heart Association says in the statement, published in the journal Circulation.

A growing body of evidence does suggest that breakfast is good for you and that eating late at night can help you put on more pounds, even if you skipped meals earlier in the day.

New research shows Americans are eating around the clock, but need a little better planning to make that work for their hearts.

“Meal timing may affect health due to its impact on the body’s internal clock,” said Marie-Pierre St-Onge, an associate professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University who helped write the statement.

Animal studies show that eating right before sleep might alter metabolism not only to promote weight gain, but in harmful ways that could help lead of diabetes and heart disease.

“However, more research would need to be done in humans before that can be stated as a fact,” she said.

“We suggest eating mindfully, by paying attention to planning both what you eat and when you eat meals and snacks, to combat emotional eating,” St-Onge said.

“Many people find that emotions can trigger eating episodes when they are not hungry, which often leads to eating too many calories from foods that have low nutritional value.”

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