Is it when you eat not what you eat that is important?

Is it when you eat not what you eat that is important?

Posted by Phil Houghton on

Restricting food intake

Intermittent fasting "diets" like 16/8  restrict eating to a certain number of hours, the balance of the day is spent fasting.  These types of time restricted eating patterns are very popular because of the perceived health benefits of maintaining an "eating window" rather than snacking throughout the day and night.

The research 

A 2015 study, found that when individuals who usually ate throughout the day only consumed calories during an "eating window" of between 10-11 hours per day for 16  weeks, they reduced body weight and reported feeling energetic and being able to sleep better.

Another study showed that those fruit flies placed on a time-restricted eating plan had hearts that appear to be 20 to 30 percent younger than their age would suggest. As fruit fly hearts, and human hearts are similar, it is possible that humans will be similarly affected.

Research studies involving mice have concluded time-restricted calorie consumption can improve blood glucose levels, even in a high-fat diet. These results were also replicated in humans. A very recent study published in Obesity magazine studies a group of men who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and limited their food intake to nine hours per day but did not alter their diet. The results showed the men had improved glucose control despite not changing their diet. According to the study's spokesperson, Associate Professor Heilbronn says: "Time-restricted eating regimes demonstrate that we can enjoy foods that are perceived to be 'bad' for us if we eat them at the right time of day when our bodies are more biologically able to deal with the nutrient load. And perhaps more importantly, if we allow our bodies to have more time fasting each night.

Put simply; these studies show that modulating when, rather than what, we eat can improve glucose control, can help us lose weight and feel better and may protect our hearts.

Its all about the body clock 

But why? It's because of our body clock.

Our body clock is synchronised with our environment through exposure to daylight and the timing of meals. The syncing of our body clock is essential for long-term health and eating at unusual times can cause body clock disruption.  This finding is borne out by a study from the Barcelona Institute of Global Health which found that those who routinely eat after 9 pm and don't leave two hours after food before they sleep are 25% more likely to get cancer than those who do. The researchers said:

"Acute circadian misalignment of the sleep/wake and feeding cycle experimentally induced in healthy, non-shift workers, was associated with disrupted glucose, insulin, leptin and cortisol rhythms in as few as three days"


"Our study concludes that adherence to diurnal (daily) eating patterns is associated with a lower risk of cancer. These findings stress the importance of evaluating timing in studies on diet and cancer."

What do we conclude from this? 

More research is needed to find out more about the links between eating, circadian rhythms and our health. Given the strength of what has been uncovered thus far, it does seem that you are not just what you eat but when you eat.

The best way to health and that "glow"? 

Good, nutritious (and mainly plant-based) food, eat at the correct time (and not just before bed) coupled with excellent daily skin care is the best way to remain in great shape and develop a healthy glow. And, the best way to really highlight and encourage that radiance, is by using  Velettà Cleansing Oil alongside Velettà Rejuvenating Oil and our Nourishing Moisturiser and our Purifying Mask (all four are vegan, halal-certified and cruelty-free).


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