It May Not Be What You Eat, But When You Eat That's Bad for Your Health

   By drodriguez  May 23, 2012

What if you could eat anything you wanted and still stay thin and healthy? Sounds too good to be true, but a group of scientists are asserting that there may be a way to do just this.

The LA Times reports about a new study involving lab mice published in the journal Cell Metabolism that reveals some surprising findings.

The study found that the group of lab mice that was fed a high fat high calorie chow for 8 hours per day and forced to fast the remaining 16 remained a healthy weight, showed no signs of obesity or high blood pressure and cholesterol.

The mice who were fed the same fatty chow but were able to eat whenever they wanted developed obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol over the course of the 100 day study.

The mice that were on the time-restricted high fat chow remained about the same weight as the mice served regular chow and performed better and with more endurance on the exercise wheel than all of the mice combined.

So what does this mean for us humans? Should we all stop eating early in the evening and hold off on breakfast til late? Not necessarily, nutrition expert Barry M. Popkin believes the study has opened up the door for further exploration but feels a 16 hour fast may not be the magic number for humans and may prove to be a dangerous way to diet.

Nonetheless, nutritionists agree that the way many of us have gotten into the habit of late night snacking while watching TV at a time of day when we burn the least calories can lead to severe health problems in the future. And the notion of having an early dinner and holding off on evening snacks has been a long held tip to promote a healthy lifestyle.

What do you think of the current study that shows fasting for a certain amount of hours per day may lead to a healthier weight and heart?

What time do you usually sit down for dinner? Do you try to hold off on late night snacks in front of the TV?

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divadurga by divadurga | Sierra Madre, CA
Jun 13, 2012

I agree with the 'no food after 5' rule but trying to ignore our evening 'snack zone' is nearly impossible. Maybe we should put more energy into focusing on our 'snack zones' and eating healthier snacks than worry about what's for dinner if we keep it before 5pm. I hear models stop eating after 2pm. Now that sounds extreme.