In this day and age, we are all well-informed, especially where our gut is concerned. We know all about the things we should be eating, the things we want to eat, and even where to eat them. We are all in tune with what our palate craves, and what our tummies are rumbling or calling out for. What trips us at times, is the right time to eat them. Having a banana to get rid of the hunger pangs, or snacking on a bar of chocolate to uplift our moods, comes very naturally.
Our food dictates everything from our mood and energy levels to sleep patterns and cravings. So whether you want to feel alert in the morning, blissed-out at lunch or sleepy at night, smart food choices can get you there.
We don’t always look at our watch every time we pop something into our mouth. Nothing wrong with that. Except, eating at odd hours can make you obese and make you feel kinda bloated. But worry not. You don’t have to go out of your way and make a diet plan from the scratch. Go on eating your favourite food. Just change the timings a little.
But did you know that having these goodies at the wrong time of the day can actually have the very opposite reaction?
It’s true! Check our list of 9 food items you might be having at the wrong time, and know when’s the best time to have them.
These fruits are high in potassium, strengthen our body’s immune system, and improve our skin quality. Most of us, especially the health freaks among us, know that a banana is your best friend when you feel low on energy.
But it’s best to avoid eating bananas for dinner, or after dinner. It may lead to mucus formation, and indigestion. It is recommended that one should have bananas before workouts to get some energy, but never at night.
It’s true that an apple a day can keep the doctor away, because it contains pectin. Pectin helps control blood sugar and cholesterol levels, which means you should indulge in the forbidden fruit a lot. But once again, not at night.
Why? Because pectin is hard to digest, and since you won’t be exercising after dinner to help your body metabolise it, it can lead to acidity.
A little portion of rice, especially for us Indians, is a must every day. And let’s just admit it, we need the carbs rice can provide. But what’s the use of having it if it energises you, and you can’t burn it off? The only result in this case is weight gain.
That’s why it’s best to not have rice for dinner, also because it is high in glycemic index and after consumption of rice, our serum glucose levels tend to rise. Since the body needs rest after dinner, and we tend not to indulge in any sort of physical activity, so it’s better not to consume rice at that time. Have a small portion for brunch, or lunch. You’ll feel satiated, but won’t add on the kilos either. If you have a stronger will and want to follow a good diet to shed some weight, you shouldn’t have rice more than once a week.
It’s a good source of protein, reduces fatigue and vulnerability to diseases. But all kinds of meat take at least four to six hours to digest.
Once again, this is not something you should be having at night, when you can’t burn some calories. Also, as we all know, meat is rich in cholesterol and triglycerides, and hence can lead to weight gain. It’s better to have grilled or baked white and lean meat (chicken), because it’s easier to digest. But, once again, it’s not something you should have for dinner.
There’s a reason why nuts like almonds, pistachios, and walnuts are recommended as a better snack than fattening snacks you might indulge in otherwise. They help keep blood pressure normal, and take good care of our hearts’ health.
But, on the flipside, nuts are high in fat and calories, and can lead to weight gain if eaten after dinner for the same reasons as given in the case of meat, rice and apples. It is best to have no more than 5-6 nuts in a day.
You might have switched to dark chocolate after you learnt that it’s high in antioxidants, and reduces ageing, as well as the risk of heart diseases. That’s all true.
But it’s not something you should be snacking on either. Eating a lot of it throughout the day can increase your body fat! You can have a small amount of it, but never snack on well.
Good time to eat sugar is during the morning, as our body’s insulin is more effective in using up sugar in the morning, and we can digest it better too, owing to higher metabolism and activity levels.
It is not advisable to eat sugar at night as the rise in blood sugar levels could cause energy levels to spike and plummet, and this high and low can disrupt your sleep.
Walnuts can be eaten at night, as a bedtime snack, as they help you to sleep well. Just pop in a few halves regularly before bedtime as research shows that walnuts tend to increase melatonin (a hormone that regulates sleep) in the body.
Generally, can be taken any time of the day, as they are rich in omega-3 fats, antioxidants, vitamin E and are a known brain boosting food.
It is advisable to have curd during the day because it assists in digestion, soothes the digestive system and is a probiotic food that strengthens our gut.
It is not advisable to have curd at night, as it could lead to acidity, and if you are prone to cold and cough, it might lead to mucus formation.
It’s good to eat everything you want to eat, but the when and how much can really affect your body. So it’s best to know what you should eat, when.