We’re constantly told that exercising and eating a balanced diet are the best ways to avoid contracting any sort of metabolic diseases. But a new study has found that by simply changing the time you eat, you could reduce your chances of heart disease or diabetes.
Researchers from the Salk Institute and the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have found that by simply restricting your eating to a 10-hour window aids with weight loss, reduces the amount of abdominal fat, and can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. The study was also found to deliver more stable blood insulin levels for participants, indicating it can benefit those with diabetes.
A small sample of 19 participants was used for the study, all of whom were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome and who all claimed to eat during a window of more than 14-hours each day. The group had to log what they ate and when they ate it using an app for the first two weeks, and then had to restrict themselves to a 10-hour eating period for three months.
To help get over the initial hurdle of changing up their eating habits, most participants either delayed their first meal or ate their last meal of the day, earlier.
On the whole, participants said they experienced a better quality of sleep, and reported a loss of weight, a reduction of their BMI and came out of the study with a slimmer waist. Blood pressure was found to be lower across all participants, too, indicating intermittent fasting can indeed have major health benefits.
This practice of intermittent fasting isn’t necessarily new, but this study, which was published on Thursday the 5th of December, provides evidence it can have genuine, positive effects on your body. The science says that by eating all of your recommended calories within a set 10-hour period each day you can support your circadian rhythm – the 24-hour cycle of biological processes that affect virtually every cell in your body.
Speaking to Science Daily, Emily Manoogian, the paper’s co-first author, says:
“Eating and drinking everything (except water) within a consistent 10-hour window allows your body to rest and restore for 14 hours at night. Your body can also anticipate when you will eat so it can prepare to optimise metabolism.”
On the contrary, an erratic eating pattern, such as random meals each day of the week, can disrupt your body’s natural processes and potentially increase your risk of contracting metabolic syndrome.
Satchidananda Panda, co-corresponding author, and professor in Salk’s Regulatory Biology Laboratory added: “Adapting this 10-hour time-restricted eating is an easy and cost-effective method for reducing symptoms of metabolic syndrome and improving health.”
“By delaying the onset of diabetes by even one year in a million people with prediabetes, the intervention could save roughly 9.6 billion dollars in healthcare costs.”
With around 1.2 million people diagnosed with diabetes in Australia, and the Type 2 variant being able to affect anyone at any time in their life, the results of this study could be life-changing.