The familiar eating routine for most is, wake up have breakfast, break midday and have lunch, then late afternoon or early evening have your last meal of the day, which is sometimes referred to as dinner, tea or supper, depending on your upbringing. Oh, and many of us like to enjoy a snack or two in between meals too.
This is what we are use to and what we are so often told, to be the most sensible and healthiest way of eating, minus the snacks of course. Our parents told us this when we were young, and health professionals will tell you the same.
Now new research results are suggesting we change our eating routines and habits to improve our health and possibly lose weight. The latest suggestion is to eat nine meals a day. To learn more continue reading the extract below, provided by the Daily Mail.
New Research Suggest Nine Meals A Day Is Better For Your Health And Weight Loss
In the past there’s been some talk about eating ‘little and often’ to keep blood sugar and energy levels steady, but for most people that seemed a little faddy.
But research is emerging to suggest eating little and often is healthier for us, and that we should be having as many as nine meals every day.
This may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and even encourage weight loss.
‘Splitting food intake so we eat many times a day will have metabolic benefits over and above the same food consumed in a small number of meals,’ says Dr Susan Jebb, head of the Medical Research Council’s Human Nutrition Research Unit.
In one of the latest studies, scientists from Imperial College, London, compared the diets of more than 2,000 people from the UK, Japan, China and the U.S.
While they all had the same calorie intake and food, half the participants ate fewer than six times a day, while the remainder ate more than six times.
Results show the first group had a significantly higher systolic blood pressure — the pressure that blood exerts on vessels while the heart is beating — compared with the more frequent eaters.
They were also significantly heavier. Read the original article here.
Okay, so the results are in and it’s proven that eating more smaller meals throughout the day is better than eating fewer larger meals. But why is this, what is the cause of these results. This is what the study had to say…
It’s not clear why eating more often has these benefits, but one theory is that frequent meals prevent a high influx of fatty acids — compounds that are released from foods and can lead to a build-up of fats in the arteries, and also contribute to high cholesterol levels.
The build-up can also narrow the blood vessels, leading to high blood pressure.
Eating more frequently during the day means there are no sudden spikes of fatty acids, enabling the body to deal with the intake more effectively.
‘Research suggests that levels of fatty acids in the blood remain more stable with frequent eating of smaller amounts — peaks and troughs in fatty acids have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease,’ says Dr Vasant Hirani, a senior research fellow at University College London and a specialist in public health nutrition. Read the original article here.
Okay, that makes sense, well it sounds logical enough anyway and I’m no scientist, so who am I to argue. Right, so if you were going to adopt this new habit of eating, could you eat nine meals a day randomly, you know when ever feel like, or should you have set times?
To answer that question, the team on the study are using the results from a study carried out by some scientist in Israel…
Recently, scientists in Israel revealed that snacking haphazardly throughout the day can lead to more weight gain compared with eating at regular times.
The team fed mice either a regular diet or allowed them to eat whenever they wanted. Both consumed the same amount of calories.
After 18 weeks, the results showed that the mice who ate haphazardly gained more weight, had higher cholesterol and were less sensitive to insulin.
The team say timing of food seems more important than the composition of a meal, but are unsure why this should be.
One theory is that regular meals help our body to maintain a constant metabolism.
If you eat haphazardly, the body does not know when the next meal will arrive, and so as a survival mechanism starts to store more food as fat. Read the original article here.
So it’s obvious that the results from this study proves that It’s more beneficial to our health to eat many small meals through out the day at set times. This is not entirely new news; you might have already heard of similar diets that uses the same approach to help with weight loss, the familiar term used is grazing. One popular and successful diet that I know of, that uses this philosophy is Simon Lovell’s “Lunch Box Diet” see it here.
The only downfall I find with this way of eating is it’s impractical. I don’t know how I could possibly fit nine meal times into my day, and I’m sure this is the case for many of you too. However if you do have the time, why not give it ago, or at least try it for a while and see if it fits your lifestyle and more importantly, improves your health.
Just one final note: Do realise that these nine small meals still need to be healthy meals, you can’t eat nine small ice cream sundaes and expect the same results.
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