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Healthy Eating: A Guest Blog by Maria Dellanina, RDN

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

Photo by Dan Counsel on Insplash

Optimal eating times for healthy digestion and better sleep

Regular eating times help our bodies better manage blood sugar, regulating hunger hormones, optimizing digestion, and helping to achieve longer, restorative sleep.

Our body prefers to consume food (energy) within 30 minutes to one hour of waking. This helps us to “break our fast” after 8-12 hours of fasting during the night. Most evidence on the topic suggests eating before 8:30am is best, especially for blood sugar management, which impacts many other body systems.

We should eat a balanced meal every 4-5 hours, placing lunch around 11-1pm. It’s best if we finish eating our dinner about 3-4 hours before bed and any small snacks around 1 hour before bedtime to prevent restlessness and encourage proper digestion.

If you get hungry between meals, you can and should eat snacks, but it's best if they are balanced to prevent over-eating.

What is ‘balanced’ eating ?

Including fiber-rich carbohydrates, protein, and some ‘healthy ’fats, will make your meal or snack more effective and nourishing for your body.

Simple breakfast example: white bread with jam

Balanced breakfast example: 100% whole grain bread with peanut butter and jam with a side of yogurt and berries.

Snack examples: A handful of nuts, a string cheese, whole grain crackers with cheese or meat, apple or banana with peanut butter

If you are hungry around bed time, you need to eat. Try to have something resembling one of those balanced snack options I mentioned above to promote good sleep and healthy digestion


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