Got the night munchies? Beware of diabetes and heart disease

Posted at 5:08 PM, Nov 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-08 18:34:38-05

Your late-night snacking habit may have alarming consequences on your health.  And your 24-hour internal body clock could be to blame. 

This is a wake-up call for those who often eat late at night.  

New research suggests indulging in late-night munchies could lead to diabetes and heart disease. It may not be linked to what we eat, but rather when we eat.  

Our internal clocks are typically set to the day-night cycle, often dictating when we sleep and eat.   Disrupting this pattern could impact blood fat levels, also called triglyceride levels.  

Animal research in Mexico City found feeding rodents at the beginning of their normal rest period spiked blood fat levels.  

But, this dramatic rise didn’t happen when they were fed at the beginning of their active cycle. 

Diabetes is not caused by high triglycerides.  

But it is a sign your system is not working properly as high triglycerides can signal insulin resistance.

That means your body is not responding to insulin as it should, and over time can leave you with higher than normal blood sugar levels.

This can lead to type 2 diabetes along with heart disease.  

Partha’s RX
1. Find the reason why you’re snacking late at night and seek solutions.  Overly-restricted daytime diets or emotions like boredom, frustration or sadness are common causes. 
2. Eat at regular times during the day and don’t forget breakfast.  Structured eating can help lessen hunger at night.
3. Be sure to get enough sleep. Fatigue can leave you hungrier than normal and you could end up eating more calories than necessary.
4. Instead of reaching for food, try a beverage like hot tea instead.  Just make sure it’s decaffeinated.

You could have nighttime eating syndrome where you eat a lot of food late in the evening.  

You can have trouble sleeping and find yourself eating after waking up. You’re more likely to have nighttime eating syndrome if you’re obese, suffer from depression, anxiety or substance abuse.   This is a rare illness but if you’re concerned, please talk to your doctor who can diagnose and treat you.