The interval between taking dinner and going to bed could greatly determine your health, shows a study at St Mary’s Mission Hospital, Nairobi. Patients who observed more than a 2-hour interval between taking dinner and going to sleep were at lower risk of high blood pressure, blood sugar, bad cholesterol or obesity.
Health experts at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Nairobi and the University of Nairobi found people who spent a longer interval between dinner and sleeping were less likely to develop metabolic syndrome (MetS).
Metabolic syndrome involves a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of heart diseases, stroke, and diabetes.
These include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, obesity and abnormal cholesterol levels.
These conditions are highly linked to one’s diet and lifestyle, what one eats, physical activities as well as the interval between dinner and bed.
In the current study published earlier this month (October 2020) in the journal BMJ Open the authors involved 404 obese patients at St Mary’s Mission Hospital in Langata, Nairobi.
The hospital provides affordable services to a large low-income-earning population from the neighbouring Kibera, Mukuru-Kwa-Njenga, and Kuwinda slums.
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Less than a quarter of the study participants, 79, reported observing more than a two-hour interval between taking dinner and sleeping.
Majority spent less than one hour between dinner and going to sleep and this group was at higher risk of elevated blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and reduced good fats.
“Eating an early dinner allows the body time to burn off those unwanted calories before going to sleep and thus reduces the risks of heart diseases,”
The study led by Teketste Okubatsion Okube found participants reporting high consumption of processed, fast, salty, and sugary foods were likely to show signs of metabolic syndrome.
On the other hand, those reporting regular consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts, and a good interval between dinner and sleep had few danger signals.