Most people believe that late night eating habits affect their weight loss efforts, as overindulging increases their calorie intake, especially when you are not careful about food choices. Late night eaters also tend to skip breakfast, which ends up in a vicious cycle of being hungrier and hungrier, and more likely to overeat during the day.
Midnight snacking and skipping breakfast, however, are not just ‘weight loss ruiners’. It turns out that these eating habits are also bad for your heart health. Research and experts from Be Heart Strong suggest that these are risk factors for heart disease.
The Heart Breakers
According to a 2013 study published in the journal Circulation, people who skip breakfast or indulge in late night cravings may be more prone to heart attack and coronary heart disease. The researchers observed 27,000 men between 1992 and 2008, keeping track of their eating habits every two years. The participants of the study had no signs of heart disease at the onset.
The research findings suggested that people who skipped breakfast were 27% more likely to experience cardiovascular-related diseases than those who ate meals in the morning. It also showed that participants who had midnight snacking habits were 55% more likely to have heart problems.
The researchers also noted that these eating habits may contribute to one or more other heart disease risk factors, including high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity.
Curbing the Midnight Cravings
While the obvious solution to preventing these risks is to avoid late night snacking and eat breakfast, it is not that simple. Nutrition is an important consideration.
It is crucial to add many types of healthy foods to breakfast or late night snacks to make sure that there is a healthy balance of nutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Instead of grabbing a bag of pretzels, choose fresh produce, such as nuts and seeds, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
The key to preventing heart disease is being extra conscious of your eating habits. Yes, refrigerators have an extraordinary pull at 2:30 AM; go ahead, pull yourself up from the bed and drag your feet to the kitchen, just make sure to skip the tub of ice cream and binge on healthy choices.