You know that eating late at night isn’t good for your waistline — but now research shows it’s also terrible for your heart.
A late-night meal keeps the body on “high alert” when it should be winding down, researchers from Dokuz Eylul University in Turkey have found. Anything after 7 p.m. increases your risk for heart attack.
Ideally, your blood pressure drops naturally during sleep, but eating late in the evening keeps it high.
The study involved 721 hypertensive men and women with a mean age of 53 years old, according to the Tech Times. The type of food eaten, amount of salt added to the meal, whether or not breakfast was eaten, and dinner time were all taken into consideration.
Of those four factors, having dinner late at night had the most impact on the participants’ blood pressure level — moreso than eating a meal earlier in the evening with a high amount of salt.
Increased risk of high blood pressure is a primary cause of heart disease. Ideally, your blood pressure drops naturally during sleep, but eating late in the evening keeps it high, researchers found. The scenario doubles the chances that someone with hypertension could have a heart attack.
The study was presented at the European Society of Cardiology in Rome.
It’s important to have a hearty breakfast and a good lunch, said scientists. Dinner should be light and must be consumed before 7 p.m. It is advice important to take to heart, literally, but it may also be hard to swallow — in our busy lives we often don’t make or find time to eat until late in the day.
A second study presented at the world’s largest heart conference in Rome this week found that men who go to bed early might also check with their doctor about their heart health.
The Japanese study looked at 2,400 adults and found getting tired early could be a key warning sign of developing high blood pressure, especially among men. On average, those with the condition went to bed 18 minutes earlier than healthy adults, The Sun reported.
Researchers found those suffering from high blood pressure also suffered a worse night’s sleep. If that sounds like you — see your doc.