What are the health benefits to 7pm dinners and eating early?
Aside from studies providing evidence that there’s health benefits to 7pm dinners, we may already expect that eating earlier will lead to better sleep, weight loss, and less risk of cancer and obesity. Earlier this year, a study published in the Frontiers in Nutrition journal proved that eating an earlier dinner can result in living longer.
This study focused on the province of L’Aquila in Abruzzo, Italy with a high number of people between the age of 90 and 99 and people who are 100 years old. Known as nonagenarians and centenarians, respectively, researchers surveyed and found that 68 of the nonagenarians and centenarians in the area averaged a dinner at 7:13pm. How did these people gain health benefits from 7pm dinners?
Researchers also observed that these 68 people maintained a low calorie intake for 17.5 hours. The time was tracked from dinner to lunch on the following day. The survey participants generally ate a lot of grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes. They didn’t eat much meat, processed meat, eggs, or sweets. The participants also stayed active by maintaining their own land, which kept them physically busy.
The science behind reaping health benefits to 7pm dinners lead to calorie consumption and how that energy is used from our bodies. When eating late, the body doesn’t utilize the calories from the food we just ate. They will instead be turned into fat, which may result in weight gain.
Other health benefits to 7pm dinners include reducing the risk of cancer. Cancer studies have shown that there’s a 26% lower risk of prostate cancer in males and a 16% lower risk of breast cancer in women for those who consume their dinner at least two hours before they sleep at night. In addition, our mood and energy levels can increase after an early dinner as it gives our body more time to level our blood sugar. This allows us to feel less irritable or fatigued.
“Our results support the importance of a daily caloric restriction lapse, hampering nocturnal postprandial stress and optimizing metabolic response, associated with high consumption of plant-based foods and physical activity for the longevity of centenarians from Abruzzo,” stated the scientists.