Dr. Campbell: For heart health, when is nearly as important as what you eat

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — We all know that diet is an important part of maintaining a healthy heart.

Now, new research shows that when you eat may also play a big role in keeping your heart in great shape.

This past week, the American Heart Association issued a new recommendation on diet and heart disease

What did the American Heart Association statement say about diet and heart disease?

Based on recent studies, the AHA now recommends that eating more of your daily calories early in the day is associated with a lower risk for heart disease. In other words, breakfast may very well be the most important meal of the day. Studies that show eating earlier in the day – when your body can better metabolize food – may lower heart disease risk factors such as obesityhigh blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Why is timing of meals so important?

It appears that many of our body’s organs are influenced by our circadian rhythms, which are our internal body clocks. This means that we may handle calories differently at different parts of the day.  When we eat later in the day, the calories and nutrients are more likely to be converted to fat, whereas meals taken earlier in the day seem to jump start our metabolism and are used more efficiently.

What should we do to make our meals work best for us?

Ideally, we must eat a healthy balanced diet.  In addition, studies have shown that starting the day with a healthy breakfast and then eating more frequent but smaller meals throughout the day can also reduce risk for heart disease.

Avoid eating large meals late at night, which can lead to obesity.

To get in touch with Dr. Campbell, you can head to his website, Facebook page or message him on Twitter.

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