Don’t shoot the messenger, okay? Your heart has spoken, and it agrees that late-night eating has got to go. The truth is that a late meal can do more harm than good when it comes to your metabolism and cardiovascular health.
Keep reading to find out how a simple snack can affect your heart’s health.
You’ll Mess with Your Body Clock
Your body functions according to biological rhythms that keep it running on what can be considered a schedule. These rhythms are referred to as circadian rhythms. They operate on a 24-hour cycle that cue the body for processes like body temperature regulation, eating, and sleeping.
However, all vital organs in the body, including the heart, can be affected. Not to mention, eating habits affect your gut, which is in direct correlation with your heart as well.
Eating late may throw off the circadian rhythm enabling the onset of heightened health risks like cancer, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and problems with alcohol.
You’ll Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease
Throughout the course of a day, your blood pressure goes through a natural pattern. During this pattern, your blood pressure tends to fall when you’re sleeping. When your body begins to prepare for waking up, your blood pressure tends to rise.
Eating late impacts your cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Instead of your blood pressure dropping as you sleep, food signals it to stay elevated. This is what prompts an increase in the risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
Acid Reflux Isn’t Fun
Eating too close to the time you go to sleep can cause uncomfortable acid reflux and heartburn. The symptoms of heartburn are especially prominent when lying down, thus throwing off the sleep schedule more. Ideally, one should allow about 2-3 hours for processing of food before bedtime.
Late-Night Healthy Snacks
Next time you’re lying in bed, scrolling and feeling triggered for that midnight snack, think of your heart. However, if you are unable to limit yourself in this way due to a disease or condition, some healthy low-glycemic alternatives are best. Choose foods that are high in protein, healthy fats, and low carb. For example:
- Natural unsalted nuts
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Raw veggies
- Apple slices with peanut butter
So whether it’s your tummy or heart calling, make sure to make an informed, self-loving choice.