Is Eating at Night Bad for Your Heart?

To Your Health
December, 2019 (Vol. 13, Issue 12)

By Editorial Staff

Can’t seem to stop yourself from nightly trips to the fridge and/or pantry? It’s not just your waistline and sleep routine that you’re putting at risk. Eating more calories in the evening is associated with poorer cardiovascular health, according to new research involving more than 100 women.

In the study, researchers examined heart health at baseline and one year later based on seven modifiable risk factors established by the American Heart Association: blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, physical activity, diet, weight and smoking. Women averaged 33 years of age at the start of the study and completed one-week food diaries at both time points.

heart - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark

Women who consumed more calories after 6 p.m. were more likely to have poorer cardiovascular health compared with women who at less calories at or after that time of day. Each 1 percent increase in caloric intake after 6 p.m. reduced cardiovascular health scores, as did each 1 percent increase in calorie consumption after 8 p.m.

The lesson: Eat plenty of good food throughout the day, but don’t load up on calories late in the day compared to earlier. These findings add to previous research suggesting heavy eating in the evening hours may promote weight gain, slow metabolism, and even impair sleep. Talk to your doctor for more information.