High cholesterol: Can eating at a certain time of day lower cholesterol? Expert advice


Eating at the wrong time of day has been linked to increased risk of diabetes, but less research is available on how cholesterol is impacted.

Lynnne Garton, dietetic advisor for Heart UK said: “While there is interesting research into the best time to eat, it’s not conclusive and more research is needed to better understand how the timing and frequency of how meals affects heart health.

“The type of foods you choose, and portion sizes will still have the biggest impact on your health.”

Research into how the timing of eating affects cholesterol has broadly been focused on observational studies.

This means recording people’s typical meal schedule and measuring their cholesterol levels.

One such study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that people who routinely skipped breakfast had a greater chance of dying from cardiovascular disease.

Only 59 percent of the 6,550 people in that study consumed breakfast every day.

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The group of people that never ate breakfast saw nearly a doubled risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

The researchers go out of the way to point out there is no identified causal relation.

There is the potential for there to be something that both increases the likelihood of skipping breakfast and the risk of fatal heart disease.

Skipping breakfast, the researchers say, should be seen as a risk sign but not a cause.


Other abnormal eating habits are less common, making it harder to collect large amounts of data on them.

A report in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that anorexia and bulimia did appear to impact cholesterol levels.

These eating disorder still cause severe harm and malnutrition, but cholesterol specifically is not impacted.

Other chronic conditions have had stronger links found to eating at the ‘wrong’ times.

Studies have found that night shift workers have an increased risk of diabetes and cancer, with the World Health Organisation classifying night shifts as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

The risk of diabetes was found to be significantly lower when night shift workers maintained a daytime meal plan.

The suspected reason for this is that eating at the wrong time can confuse the time keeping mechanisms in the body, causing changes to how sugar is used.

High cholesterol is a common risk factor in heart disease and can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Exercise can improve cholesterol levels when done on a regular basis.

There are also diets that can improve cholesterol, that often involve reducing meat intake.

There are also medications that can increase or decrease cholesterols.

Published at Sat, 18 Dec 2021 21:08:18 +0000

High cholesterol: Can eating at a certain time of day lower cholesterol? Expert advice