This is the time you should eat to reduce bad cholesterol, the study

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Elia Tabuenca García
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According to a research, to reduce bad cholesterol (Ldl) the time you eat counts, it would be optimal to reduce portions in the evening.

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Bad cholesterol levels can be reduced by eating less during the evening and night hours and shifting fat intake to the start of the day. One study basically states that keeping blood cholesterol levels at bay depends a lot on the hours you eat.





According to the results, in fact, by moving only 100 kilocalories from late evening to lunchtime, the "bad" cholesterol would be lower. And if the calories come from fat, the reduction would be even higher.

This is because meal frequency, feeding times and regularity are associated with obesity, blood pressure, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risks. Consequently, a elevated cholesterol Ldl (the "bad" one) in the blood, as an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, can also be linked to feeding times.

For the study, led by Hsin-Jen Chen, associate professor of public health at National Yang-Ming University in Taipei, Taiwan, the dietary consumption and blood lipid levels of more than 1200 adults were assessed. The researchers calculated that by shifting the consumption of 100 kilocalories from late evening to lunchtime, LDL cholesterol was lower, albeit not by much. But if the 100 kilocalories came from less fat, the reduction in cholesterol became more significant.

A systematic review

Chen and colleagues used data from a health and nutrition survey in Taiwan for the analysis. 1.283 participants (44,4% women) aged 19 or older were included. Food intake was assessed with a 24-hour diet reminder and converted into calories from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

The analysis was conducted over six time periods, with main meals eaten in the morning (from 5.00 to 9.29), at noon (from 11.30 to 13.39) and in the evening (from 17.30 to 20.30.). Three more snack periods have been added: mid-morning (9.30am to 11.29am), afternoon (13.30pm - 17.29pm) and night (20.30pm to 4.59am).


After the dietary assessment, participants returned 1 to 3 weeks later for a physical exam in which fasting plasma triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol were measured.


The average energy intake in the group of participants was 385 kcal in the morning, 123 kcal in the middle of the morning, 522 kcal at noon, 171 kcal in the afternoon, 557 kcal in the evening and 169 kcal at night. The researchers found that LDL cholesterol levels increased by an average of 0,94 mg / dL when participants ate an extra 100 kcal at night. Additionally, LDL cholesterol increased by 2,98 mg / dL when participants ate an additional 100 kcal of fat overnight.

By shifting, instead, by 100 kcal the total energy intake that would have been consumed at night in the morning or at noon, it would have lowered Ldl cholesterol by 1,46 mg / dL and 1,27 mg / dL respectively. As well as shifting 100 kcal of fat intake overnight to noon or evening reduced bad cholesterol levels.

"The metabolic processes of cholesterol, including intestinal cholesterol intake, cholesterol synthesis and the use of cholesterol by some tissues, vary over time - explain the researchers. These temporal patterns of cholesterol-related metabolism indicate that the metabolic cholesterol systems of healthy people tend to produce cholesterol at night, which increases total cholesterol levels. "

What does it all mean? What the "Good" food choices they always remain the most valid. Do not overdo yourself in the late evening and, above all, keep your intake of saturated and trans fatty acids under control and leave room for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (olive oil and seed oils, nuts and seeds), soluble fiber and foods containing phytosterols present in vegetable oils, nuts, cereals. Here is our guide to the perfect cholesterol-lowering diet.


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