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Natural Awakenings

Why Three Meals a Day Works: The Mom-recommended Tradition is a Good Thing

People who eat one, three or multiple meals a day continue to debate the best plan. Now, for the first time, two new studies have examined the effects that skipping meals might have on key health outcomes.

The research involved normal weight, middle-aged adults. Two groups of volunteers consumed all of their required weight-maintenance calories in either one meal a day, or in three meals a day. Analysis of initial results showed that consuming a single meal each day is feasible for the short term; however, so called one-mealers experienced significant increases in total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood pressure, compared with the three-mealers. Further analysis showed that one-mealers also had higher morning fasting blood sugar levels, as well as higher and more sustained elevations in blood sugar concentrations and a delayed response to the body’s natural insulin, the hormone that keeps blood sugar in check. The researchers concluded that the Mom-recommended tradition of eating three meals a day is a good thing.

Source: US Department of Agriculture 2008

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