Heart of the matter – no eating past 7 pm?

By June Shannon Heart News   |   7th Aug 2018

At the Irish Heart Foundation, we aim to provide accurate and evidence-based information on heart health to help you make informed decisions about your health. One of the questions we get asked a lot is, is not eating past 7pm a good idea?

We put this question to our resident expert dietitian at the Irish Heart Foundation, Sarah Noone who said eating late at night was not a problem if you are truly hungry or have just come home from work.

However she added that eating late at night may be problematic if it means snacking on high fat/ high sugar foods out of boredom and therefore eating too many calories over the course of the day.

"Aim to have our last main meal around 2-3 hours before bedtime"

Sarah Noone, dietitian at the Irish Heart Foundation

“Our body doesn’t store more calories just because it’s later in the day. However, ideally, we should aim to have our last main meal around 2-3 hours before bedtime as it’s healthier for our digestive system not to eat a heavy meal just before we go to bed.”

Sarah advised that recent research in this area seems to suggest that when we eat in addition to what we eat, may be important however she said more research was needed.

“As our lifestyles have become more demanding and irregular, so have our meal patterns. We probably do need to tune back into our bodies– eating when we are hungry rather than when we have time. This doesn’t mean not eating after a certain time, but perhaps starting by thinking about the regularity of our meals. However, it is the type of foods you choose and portion sizes that have the biggest impact on your health,” Sarah advised.

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