Adelle Davis, a popular 1960’s nutritionist, once said: “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” While every individual has different specific dietary needs, there is a lot of wisdom in Davis’ words. The time that you eat certain foods can significantly affect your health.
A study performed at the Harvard University School of Public Health surveyed 26,902 men between the ages of 45 and 82 for a period of 16 years. Results showed that the men who skipped breakfast had a 27 percent greater risk of having a heart attack, or dying of heart disease, than the men who did not skip breakfast.
Your body needs calories to burn for fuel throughout the day. If you want to get the morning started right, eating a hearty and healthy breakfast is key. Proteins, such as grass-fed meats, organic eggs or beans, along with vitamin and mineral-rich organic fruits and veggies can provide the needed energy.
If you choose to eat starch in the morning, keep it to a minimum. Whatever you do, stay away from donuts and pastries. Refined starch, according to registered dietician Judy Caplan, is the worst thing to start your day. “You get an insulin [spike], and [then] your blood sugar drops too low so you get hungry again. That’s why people get into a cycle of overeating junk,” she says.
Afternoon is usually ‘go time’ for many people; the time when your body must push hard to complete the tasks of the workday. To properly accomplish this, it needs enough nutritious calories to keep it going. Caplan advises, “ideally, you want to give yourself fuel before you do harder labor.”
Healthy proteins, along with organic fruits and veggies, are key. If you are doing something very physical or labor-intensive, you may want to add some starch. However, according to Dr. Mercola, 75 percent of the population or more would be better off avoiding wheat entirely.
Gluten-free starch varieties include potatoes, sweet potatoes, quinoa, millet, corn, buckwheat and rice (organic varieties of each always being safer and better for you).
Eating a lighter meal in the evening is a good idea for a couple of reasons. First of all, when you’re asleep, your body doesn’t burn as many calories, and what you do not burn off from your meal gets stored in your fat cells.
Second of all, eating too late in the evening may make it difficult to fall asleep. Tracy Lockwood, a registered dietician, says, “eating too close to bedtime increases your blood sugar and insulin, which causes you to have a hard time falling asleep. Therefore, your last meal should be the lightest of the day and should be eaten at least three hours before you go to sleep.”
Eating starches and sugars – even healthy sugars – during your evening meal is not recommended. Lockwood explains, “a boost of energy coming from your dinner, which may have consisted of pasta, rice or bread, can act as a short-lived stimulant, causing you to feel more awake immediately after a meal.”
She adds, “also, it is not recommended to lie down immediately after a meal, especially a big one, since it increases your chance for acid reflux.”
Note: Whatever meal of the day you are having, avoiding refined sugar and processed foods is very important. We eat to provide our bodies with the nutrition that it needs to function, and the chemicals that are used in processed food work against this goal.
If you are having trouble finding the right dietary balance for your individual body chemistry and needs, talk to a nutritionist in your area – the solution may be very simple, and making the right changes may positively affect your entire life.
-The Alternative Daily