When You Eat Matters

When You Eat Matters
Have you ever thought about how many social or business events you have around food? It seems that whenever we Americans want to get together to do something, there is always food involved. Our society’s eating patterns have changed over the years. People have greater access to food and reasons to stay up late into the night to go out or just to watch TV. When you turn TV on around dinner time, the channels are bombarded with food commercials. Im getting hungry just thinking about it.

What if it were true that we could eat what we wanted at a certain time and not gain weight? Well, according to this new study, our dreams may come true. It would mean that I could have as much of that chocolate cake as I wanted if I do not eat it after 4 pm.  On the other hand, if I eat as much of my favorite chocolate cake as I wanted after 4 pm, then I may be packing on extra weight on my already too large hips. Thats a good trade off for me!

On May 17, 2012, a paper published in Cell Metabolism, revealed how scientist from Salk’s Regulatory Biology Laboratory reported that mice limited to eating during an 8 hour period were healthier than mice that ate anytime they liked. The mice were fed the same type of food and the exact same amount of food. One group were given a set time for feeding and the other group of mice were allowed to eat when and as much as they wanted within the set amount of allotted food rations.

The study showed that when mice on a high-fat diet were restricted to eating at a set time within eight hours per day, they ate just as much as those mice who ate around the clock. However, the mice that were restricted within a time range, did not gain weight or acquire other metabolic illness such as diabetes.

Satchidananda Panda, the lead author of the study performed at the Salk Institute for Biological studies stated, “Every organ has a clock. There are times that our livers, intestines, muscles, and other organs will work at peak efficiency and other times when they are more or less sleeping.”

Panda also stated, “Implicit in our findings is that the control of energy metabolism is a finely-tuned process that involves an intricate network of signaling and genetic pathways, including nutrient sensing mechanisms and the circadian system. Time-restricted feeding acts on these interwoven networks and moves their state toward that of a normal feeding rhythm.”

“When we eat randomly, those genes aren’t completely on or off completely.” Panda continued to say, “The principle is just like it is with sleep and waking. If we don’t sleep well at night, we aren’t completely awake during the day, and we work less efficiently as a consequence. The focus has been on what people eat. We don’t collect data on when people eat.”

I am going to test this one for myself and try to control my dinner and snack time. No more late night snacks for me.

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