Maybe it's not what you eat, so much as when you eat it.
An often overlooked diet aid may be hanging on the wall: the clock. Researchers suggest that our metabolisms react to food differently at different times of the day.
The body's circadian rhythms, which influence our sleeping patterns, may have a say in other functions as well. Among those functions is the body's ability to digest food.
From Science Daily:
To find out whether restricted feeding alone — without a change in calorie intake — could prevent metabolic disease, Panda's team fed mice either a standard or high-fat diet with one of two types of food access: ad lib feeding or restricted access.
The time-restricted mice on a high-fat diet were protected from the adverse effects of a high-fat diet and showed improvements in their metabolic and physiological rhythms. They gained less weight and suffered less liver damage. The mice also had lower levels of inflammation, among other benefits.
Panda says there is reason to think our eating patterns have changed in recent years, as many people have greater access to food and reasons to stay up into the night, even if just to watch TV. And when people are awake, they tend to snack.
Two researchers join The Daily Circuit to discuss the body's internal clock and its role in our health.
Satchidananda Panda Professor in the Regulatory Biology Laboratory at Salk Institute
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BODY'S CLOCK:
• How Your Schedule Can Help (or Hurt) Your Health
The brain used to be thought of as the body's master clock, sending signals telling organs when to operate. But over the past decade or so, as scientists discovered clock genes in cells in different organs in the body, the brain has come to be seen as the conductor of an orchestra. Each organ operates on its own internal clock, producing enzymes and molecules at different levels depending on the time of day; the brain works to make sure all the clocks are synchronized. (Wall Street Journal)