PHILADELPHIA CREAM – For many people, there’s a constant nagging self-talk telling them to start a new diet or get back to the gym. However, some diet and fitness plans can do more harm than good. Whether it’s intermittent fasting, cutting carbs, or going Keto, new research advises caution for those who limit their eating habits. Researchers say eating just one meal a day is associated with an increased risk of death in American adults ages 40 and older.
According to the international team, skipping meals can have adverse health effects. Although you may like to shed a few extra pounds, skipping breakfast is associated with a higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Likewise, missing lunch or dinner can lead to a higher risk of death in general.
The timing of your meals also plays a role in health. For those eating three meals a day, researchers say meals should be spaced 4.5 hours apart. Otherwise, you might be getting closer to death’s door.
“At a time when intermittent fasting is widely touted as a solution for weight loss, metabolic health, and disease prevention, our study is important for the large segment of American adults who eat fewer than three meals a day. Our research found that people who ate only one meal a day were more likely to die than those who ate more meals a day,” said Yangbo Sun, lead author of the study, in a press release.
2 out of 5 people follow a restricted diet
Investigators analyzed the responses and causes of death of more than 24,000 American adults ages 40 and older who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) between 1999 and 2014. The survey collects data on everything from food to general health across the world. WE
Researchers found that people who ate fewer than three meals a day (about 40% of participants) shared common characteristics such as less education, lower income, food insecurities, alcohol consumption, smoking and lower overall energy intake.
“Our results are significant even after adjustments for dietary and lifestyle factors (smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity levels, energy intake, and diet quality) and food insecurity,” adds Wei. Bao, principal investigator of the study.
Dr. Bao explains that skipping meals means getting more energy all at once, which can disrupt your body’s ability to metabolize glucose. This can cause damage to your metabolism.
So the next time you’re considering jumping on the newest diet trend, think twice. Limiting your body’s food (and fuel) intake can have serious long-term consequences and it’s more important than adjusting to the lower waistline in jeans.
The study is published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
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