Most people eat three meals a day and it has become a normal part of their daily life. But is eating three meals a day healthier? Because we know some people who eat twice a day and they stay healthy. Before thinking about how many times a day we should eat, scientists are telling us that we should think about when we should not eat.
Rosalyn Anderson, associate professor at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health, has researched the daily calorie needs of the human body. She says there are benefits to taking a big break from eating every day. “A long break between meals gives the body a chance to repair proteins or fats that have not been digested for some reason.” Such diseases are associated with many types of diseases.
Professor Roselyn Anderson says our bodies have evolved to adapt to intermittent fasting. ‘This allows the body to store energy and use it where it is needed and also activates our body’s energy release system.’
According to sports science professor Antonio Paoli, long breaks between meals improve the body’s utilization of glycerin. Due to less rise in glucose levels in the body after eating, the body is able to store less energy. “Our data show that eating dinner early increases the length of time we eat, which has positive effects on the body,” says Professor Pauli.
It’s good if all cells have low sugar levels, because if sugar levels are high, a process called glycation begins. During glycation, the combination of glucose and lipids increases inflammation in the body and increases the risk of diabetes. Some experts believe that eating only once a day is the best practice.
David Levitsky, of Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology in New York, says there’s overwhelming data showing that if you’re shown pictures of food, you’ll crave food. ‘When there were no fridges and freezers, we ate only when food was delivered. In history, man always used to eat one meal at a time. Siren Cherrington Hollins, a historian of human diet, says that in ancient Rome, only one meal was eaten at noon.
Won’t we starve if we eat once a day?
Hunger is often a psychological sensation, says David Levitsky. ‘When it’s 12 o’clock, we start wanting food. You may have a breakfast habit. “The data shows that if you skip breakfast, your body will take in fewer calories throughout the day.” However, David Levitsky does not recommend this method for diabetics.
However, other experts do not recommend just one meal a day. They understand that when we don’t eat anything, the amount of fasting glucose in our blood increases, and if this happens for a long time, it increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. We need to eat more than once to keep fasting blood glucose levels low so that the body doesn’t get the message that it’s starving and start making fasting glucose in response.
‘If a large amount of calories are consumed in the early part of the day, it is good for health. Late night eating is linked to heart disease, digestive system and diabetes. If you eat more of your food earlier in the day, the body can use all the energy and won’t store it as fat. Similarly, early morning breakfast should also be avoided while eating immediately after waking up from sleep is not beneficial for health, it affects the body clock. Researchers say that the body clock plays an important role in the digestion of food.
The human body produces a substance called melatonin to induce sleep and its release stops the growth of insulin. When you sleep, your body produces melatonin, which ensures that your blood glucose levels do not rise during sleep. If you eat calories at a time when melatonin is high in the body, it increases glucose levels.
If you eat too many calories at night before going to bed, it becomes difficult for the body to deal with it and then your body cannot maintain the correct amount of glucose. We know that if the amount of glucose in the body remains high for a long time, it can develop into type 2 diabetes. But this does not mean that we should avoid breakfast. There are evidences that breakfast should be started only one or two hours after waking up from sleep. Remember that breakfast is a bit of a modern concept.
Breakfast was introduced in ancient Greece, says Cherrington Hollins. They ate bread soaked in wine for breakfast and ate very little during the day. The custom of eating a hearty meal in the evening began in the ancient Greek period.
In the beginning, only the nobles used to have the ‘luxury’ of breakfast. Then after the 17th century every man of status could afford the ‘luxury’ of a good meal in the morning. Cherrington Hollins says that what we call breakfast today began in the 19th century with the Industrial Revolution. During this period working hours were also fixed and because of these hours three meals a day became customary.
‘Breakfast for working professionals was usually a very simple meal usually in the form of street food or a slice of double bread’. But after World War I, when food availability became a problem, many people found it difficult to have a full breakfast and began to skip it.
Cherrington Hollins says that the food we know as breakfast became popular in the 1950s. ‘Before this we were happy to eat a piece of double bread with jam’. Therefore, science says that the healthiest way to eat throughout the day is to eat two or three meals, with long overnight stays, not to eat too early or too late in the day, and not to eat too many calories. Consumed in the first part of the day, it is beneficial for health.
If you regularly try to starve your body at night, try not to eat too late or too quickly while trying to eat less at the last meal of the day. ‘You can see a dramatic difference by delaying your first meal a little and pushing your last meal forward. Regularizing it without changing anything else can have a big impact’. Researchers seem to agree that any changes you make should be made on a regular basis and that consistency is essential.