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Danger and effect of eating late-

Eating late at night is quite tempting and all of us have done it at some point or other in our lives. While catching the occasional midnight snack may not be of any particular problem, making a habit out of it can have serious long term impacts on your health and your overall well-being. There’s a reason all health experts, nutritionists and doctors will tell you to beat the habit of eating late at night or noshing on oily and fried snacks to satiate your late night hunger pangs. The habit may be more destructive for your body than you may have earlier thought. Besides piling on the unwanted pounds of weight, you can potentially harm your body in more profound ways, just by eating at odd hours during the day.

Loath as you may be to admit it, chances are that at some point you have found yourself in the kitchen late at night, devouring some sweet, salty or carb-rich treat even though you weren’t hungry.

Scientists are getting closer to understanding why people indulge after dark and to determining whether those nighttime calories wreak more havoc — whether they drive up the risk of weight gain and of chronic diseases such diabetes — than ones consumed earlier in the day.

Not eating after 7 p.m. in and of itself may not help you lose weight. But regular eating beyond the traditional dinner hour may mess with your circadian rhythms, which may affect your weight.

Late-night snacking may be more insidious than just a poor eating habit as it may get addictive and may even develop into a full-blown eating disorder known as ‘Night Eating Syndrome’. This is why we are all advised to consume most of our calories during the daytime, when our bodies are more active and we’re able to burn most of the calories from meals to generate energy. So if you’re a person who is a slave to your midnight munchies, then you must know about these harmful effects of your habit

If you have had an extremely busy and long day, and you are finally free to eat at about 11pm, maybe, of course, it makes sense that you would want to gulp down a heavy meal to assuage the persisting hunger no matter how late in the day it is. Eating late at night is not a complete no-no as it is important to eat when you are hungry; you just have to be smart about it.

Contrary to popular belief, eating late at night does not necessarily make you add weight nor does it have any negative health implications. Eating the wrong foods with the wrong number of calories is what brings on all the extra weight and most times disrupts your sleep.That thing you do, late at night, by yourself, in the dark… Don’t be ashamed, eating late at night happens to the best of us.

Whether you eat a full meal or just a little snack, chowing down late at night can have some weird side effects on your health. For one, eating late at night throws off your body’s natural rhythms. You probably know that annoying feeling of being uncomfortably full and not being able to fall asleep, but your circadian rhythms and many other hormones in your body are affected by the calories you ingest.Basically, the later you eat, the less your body is prepared to sleep, which can wreck your memory and efficiency for the next day.

In fact, eating late at night may actually make you hungrier in the 24 hours following your evening eats. The hormone ghrelin, which controls how hungry you feel, uses the naturally occurring fast that happens from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. the next day to reset itself. If you don’t give your body enough time to fast, then that biological pathway can’t occur.

So you’ll feel way hungry if you eat late at night, but even worse your metabolism will slow down. Studies show that the later you dine the more calories you’re likely to eat, and the less sleep you’ll get. Less sleep equals a slower metabolism, and that means weight gain.

Finally, eating late at night can cause acid reflux. Your stomach takes a few hours to empty out after a big meal, but if you hit the sack and get horizontal right after you eat acid from your stomach can leak upwards into your oesophagus.

So you know the nitty gritty of why you shouldn’t eat late at night, but let’s examine why you feel that need to rip open a bag of chips with your teeth long after the sun has gone down.You’re not eating enough during the day

It might seem blatantly obvious, but if you’re hungry late at night, it’s possible you aren’t eating enough during the day. Try eating a bigger lunchtime meal and a lighter dinner to ensure that you’ve fully digested your food, and integrate more fiber into your last meal of the day to stay more full for longer.Your blood sugar is going berserk.

If your blood sugar levels are constantly shooting through the roof and abruptly crashing, your food cravings will feel more intense—and your willpower will go out the window. Processed foods and anything with sugar tend to be higher on the glycemic index and can cause blood sugar spikes. Try cutting the added sugar out of your diet for a few days and you’ll notice your evening food cravings disappear.

As much as you want to swallow that big handful of pounded yam at the end of the day, here are certain things you should know about eating the right kind of food at night.
Food is so good and are enjoyed better at night when you can savour every taste.

As good and essential as food is, I think it’s a little unfair to not be allowed to take what we want at the time we want it, right? But then it’s only wise to take what’s healthy, beneficial and useful for us, isn’t it? Of course, it is.

Having said all of that, it’s important for us to know the right kind of food to feed on at every single time of the day. Hence, the need for this list.

Although these foods are not bad in themselves and contrary to people’s belief, eating late at night doesn’t necessarily make you gain some more weight just because it’s late, but because the calorie content in these meals is actually what leads to the extra kilos. So, you want to avoid taking them at an inappropriate time.

1. Pounded yam
It only makes sense to crown your efforts after a long day’s work with a befitting, hefty and honourable pounded yam, the king of all meals.

Pounded yam, like any other energy-giving food, is best taken in the afternoon when you need all the energy required for your daily running around and activities. Taking this meal late at night isn’t such a good idea because, not only does it makes you feel heavy, it converts all the energy the food is supposed to release into the body to fats and stores them in the adipose tissue for use later, adding some more weight. When you keep adding up this weight, you put yourself at a risk of becoming overweight or obese which isn’t too good for you.

2. Chocolate and other sugary foods
Chocolate isn’t a filling snack, so if you’re craving it, you may not necessarily be hungry. Rather, your sweet tooth just beckoning on you. Sugary foods have the same effect as the energy-giving foods. So, just because you want to eat light and decide to snack doesn’t mean you should opt for those extremely sugary snacks.

3. Fries
Because of the oil content present in fried food, it isn’t advisable to consume the at night because they are high in calories and fat, and they also weigh on your stomach and take a while to digest, leaving you feeling tired and sluggish in the morning. Besides they also cause heartburn.

4. Pasta
The issue with eating pasta late at night is that it’s such a fatty food that it will almost certainly lead to weight gain while you sleep. The carbohydrates in pasta turn to fat pretty quickly, so if you’re trying to eat healthy at night.

5. Bread
Bread contains a lot of carbohydrate and sugar that spikes up your blood sugar levels, causing your energy levels to rise disrupting your sleep in the process. There is also a chance that you will likely wake up starving a few hours later or in the morning due to the overproduction of insulin the sugar triggers.

Well, the simple rule is that, don’t eat more calories than you can burn.

Heart experts have advised that adults should never eat within two hours of bedtime – and ideally, nothing after 7pm.

In a healthy person, blood pressure drops by at least 10 per cent when they go to sleep.

Millions of people are putting themselves at higher risk of a heart attack or stroke by eating after 7pm, researchers have warned.

But the results of a study of more than 700 people with high blood pressure found that eating within two hours of bedtime meant their levels stayed high.

Experts think this is because eating releases a rush of stress hormones when the body should be starting to relax.

People who do not see their blood pressure fall at night are known as ‘non-dippers’ – and have a much higher rate of heart-related death. Late eaters were nearly three times more likely to be non-dippers, the Turkish researchers found.

Researcher, Dr Ebru Özpelit, presenting her results at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Rome, said, “If we eat late at night, the body essentially remains on high alert as during the day, rather than relaxing for sleep.” Stress hormones are secreted, causing blood pressure not to decrease during sleep, which should normally happen.

Dr Özpelit, from the Dokuz Eylül University in Turkey, tracked 721 people diagnosed with high blood pressure, with an average age of 53. She found that those who ate within two hours of going to bed were 2.8 times more likely to retain high blood pressure overnight.

Some 9.4 million people in the UK are diagnosed with high blood pressure, which is also known as hypertension.

They are already at a higher risk of heart disease, but if their blood pressure does not fall at night, that risk increases to a far higher level.

Experts estimate that 40 per cent of patients with hypertension are non-dippers – potentially 3.76million people in Britain– putting them at serious risk of major heart problems.

A late-night meal keeps the body on ‘high alert’ when it should be winding down, increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Dr Özpelit says it is more dangerous if blood pressure doesn’t drop by more than 10 per cent as this increases cardiovascular risk and these patients have more heart attacks, strokes and chronic disease. But even healthy people with normal blood pressure should take note of the findings. How we eat may be as important as what we eat. She advised that people do not skip breakfast, eat lunch, and keep dinner to a small meal.

Eating breakfast and lunch is important but dinner must not be later than 7 o’clock in the evening. The findings add to a growing body of evidence which suggests keeping all meals to within a fixed time – and fasting at night – can have a wide range of health benefits.

Previous research has found that an early dinner reduces the risk of breast cancer, lowers blood sugar levels, and helps burn off calories. Experts think part of the reason is that the body evolved to expect meals much earlier in the day – because people went to sleep when it got dark.

Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation, said this research suggests that eating a meal late at night may contribute to the failure of their blood pressure to reduce. It is normal for blood pressure to reduce overnight, even in people with high blood pressure. However, in some, their blood pressure remains elevated throughout the night putting them at potentially higher risk of future complications.

Here are some side-effects of eating late at night that everyone must know about:
1. Disturbed Sleep
People who eat late at night also tend to sleep later, which may lead to a disturbed sleep cycle. Additionally, eating late at night has also been found to be the reason that some people may have confusing dreams at night. A 2015 investigation into the subject of how late night snacking affects sleep, lead two Canadian psychologists to discover that University students who indulged in late night snacking were more prone to ‘bizarre’ dreams, which could be due to the gastric discomfort caused by the snacks.

Sleep Disorder

Eating late in the night can disrupt sleep patterns and give you ‘disturbing’ dreams

2. Poor Digestion
If you are prone to heart burn and acid reflux, you should probably be re-evaluating your meal timings. Eating a late dinner has been linked to these gastric issues, caused due to poorly digested food which may cause excessive acid in the stomach. This is why people are often advised to have a leisurely walk after eating their last meal of the day, instead of going straightaway to bed.

3. Unhealthy Weight Gain
Your body has a circadian rhythm (body clock) which can be thrown out of sync if you eat meals at odd hours. An out-of-sync circadian rhythm not only affects sleep and causes hormonal imbalances, but may also result in weight gain. This may have something to do with the fact that late night eaters tend to make poor food choices as well. Your body’s metabolism slows down during night time and is not as effective in burning calories as it is during the day time.

4. Increased Blood Pressure
A misaligned body clock may have more serious repercussions including increased risk of heart diseases and diabetes. Studies have linked high blood pressure or hypertension and higher fasting blood sugar levels with the habit of eating later in the night or having dinner way past the ideal time of 7 pm.

Late Night Eating

Eating late may lead to weight gain and hypertension

5. Poor Mental Health
There are some simple measures that you can take to prevent late night snacking. You can start by throwing out all unhealthy snacks stocked in your kitchen cabinet and fridge, effectively eliminating the temptation. Additionally, ensure that you have a healthy yet filling dinner, so that you don’t feel hungry close to midnight. If you are unable to correct this habit, consult a certified nutritionist or a doctor for more concrete measures.

Scientists are getting closer to understanding why people indulge after dark and to determining whether those nighttime calories wreak more havoc — whether they drive up the risk of weight gain and of chronic diseases such diabetes — than ones consumed earlier in the day.

“For years, we said a calorie is a calorie no matter when you consume it,” says dietitian Joy Dubost, a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “I don’t know if we can say that anymore, based on the emerging research. The timing of a meal may potentially have an impact.”
Most of the major studies on late-night eating have been conducted with animals, night-shift workers and people who, due to a disorder called night eating syndrome, consume at least 25 percent of their daily calories after supper or who wake up to eat at least twice a week.

Studies tend to show that when food is consumed late at night – anywhere from after dinner to outside a person’s typical sleep/wake cycle, the body is more likely to store those calories as fat and gain weight rather than burn it as energy,“The studies suggest that eating out of our normal rhythm, like late at night, may prompt weight gain” and higher levels of blood sugar, which can raise the risk of chronic disease

Not enough research on what prompts weight gain has been done, Allison says, to determine whether timing is as important as — or even more important than — the types or amounts of food often consumed at night. People tend to choose more highly palatable items — sweet and salty foods, which tend to be more caloric — when they’re tired and have restrained themselves all day, Allison adds. And night-shift workers tend to overestimate how many calories they need to stay awake while on duty.

The main meal

Two recent studies have shed new light on the potential impact of timing. In a study of 420 overweight or obese people published in 2013, those who ate their major meal after 3 p.m. lost less weight during a 20-week weight-loss program than those who ate that main meal before 3 p.m. — even when the amount they ate, slept and exercised was the same.
“This is the first study to show that eating later in the day makes people lose less weight, and lose it slower,” even when the amount people ate, slept and exercised was the same.

7 bad Nigerian foods for your health
The average Nigerian lifestyle has changed dramatically in the last few decades. Whereas before we worked hard physically on the farm, these days we sit around in cars , offices and in front of the TV or computer. The food we eat however hasn’t changed to suit our new lifestyle. Below are some foods Nigerians consume in excess but may not be so great for your health.

1. Eba/ Pounded yam/ Fufu – This is basically just instant carbohydrates (carbs) and calories with no real nutrition. Eat plenty of this and see your waste line rise, your risk of diabetes increase and you life expectancy decrease!

White Rice
2. White rice – The new staple. For many it’s had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Similar to the eba, it’s basically carbs that promote weight gain without much nutritional benefit.

White Bread-
3. White bread – This is another carb load. Eat it sparingly and consider substituting it for brown or wheat bread.

Fried Plantains-
Fried Plantain
4. Fried plantain – It’s sweet i know but you know what is sweeter? Life! Instead equally enjoy it boiled or roasted plantain to avoid raising your cholesterol levels and your risk of dying from a heart attack.

5. Stew – Look at all that oil! The tastier the stew, the more unhealthy it likely is for you. In addition to potentially contributing to cholesterol problems, it can also promote stomach ulcers and heart burn. Avoid it to have a good night’s sleep free of heartburn.

Soft Drinks
6. Soft drinks – Hot day, what do you reach for? A soft drink? How about reaching for water instead. All that sugar is unnecessary. You’re getting useless carbs from the starchy foods you’re eating anyway. Water hydrates you, helps with weight loss and reduces your risk of diseases such as kidney stones. It’s also cheaper than soft drinks, at least ‘pure water’ is.

Salt And Pepper
7. Salt and Pepper – Yes they were a cool 90’s group but when it comes to your health you want to ‘push it’ away. Salt increases your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease while pepper can increase stomach ulcer and cancer risk.

Remember the following general rules for a healthy diet.


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