NUTRITION CORNER: Eating more often may benefit your health

If you are struggling with high cholesterol, eating more often may benefit your health. According to a study published on the relationship between eating frequency and blood lipid levels, people who ate more frequently had lower overall cholesterol levels and lower levels of LDL (low density lipoprotein – the ‘bad’ cholesterol).

The people who ate more frequently (about five or six times per day) had lower overall cholesterol and lower levels of LDL when compared to people who ate one or two large meals each day, and HDL (high density lipoprotein – the ‘good’ cholesterol that is protective against heart disease) levels were not affected. Even though the people who ate more frequently generally ate more calories, fat, carbohydrates and protein, they did not tend to have higher body weight or blood pressure.

How does eating frequency affect health and cholesterol? The authors theorize that people who eat frequently throughout the day may have a steadier metabolism than people who eat only one or two big meals. This constant metabolizing of food may, as a result, reduce cholesterol in the blood. If you increase your eating frequency to five or six small meals a day, be sure that your nutritional focus is on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat protein sources. Adding extra calories from junk food to your diet may cause weight gain and other health problems.#