Tags: three | meals | day | obese

Fewer, Larger Meals the Best Option?

Monday, 10 December 2012 11:35 AM

Despite the popular notion that eating multiple small meals a day may be the best nutritional option, new research suggests eating three larger more traditional daily meals is actually a healthier choice, especially for women who are obese.
University of Missouri researchers who studied the eating habits of eight women found those who consumed just three substantial meals each day had consistently lower blood-sugar and fat levels than those who ate six small meals. Over time, the researchers said, three square meals a day could decrease a woman's risk of developing heart disease
"Our data suggests that, for obese women, eating fewer, bigger meals may be more advantageous metabolically compared to eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day," said lead researcher Tim Heden, a doctoral student in MU's Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology.
"Eating larger meals less often lowered blood-fat levels. Over time, consistently eating fewer, larger meals each day could lower the women's blood-fat levels and thereby lower their risk of developing heart disease."
For the study, Heden and his colleagues studied how meal frequency affected blood-sugar and blood-fat levels in eight women during two 12-hour periods. All of the women consumed a total of 1,500 calories per day, but ate three 500-calorie meals on one day and six 250-calorie meals on another.
The results showed women who consumed three meals had significantly lower fat in their blood.
"The mass media and many health care practitioners often advocate eating several small meals throughout the day," Heden said. "However, when we examined the literature, we didn't find many studies examining or supporting this popular claim. This lack of research led to our study, which is one of the first to examine how meal frequency affects insulin and blood-fat levels in obese women during an entire day of eating."

© HealthDay

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Eating three larger daily meals has been found to be a healthier option than all-day snacking.
Monday, 10 December 2012 11:35 AM
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