Scientists from Harbin Medical University found that people’s meal and snack patterns could affect their risks of cancer, heart disease, and death.
The research is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association and was conducted by Wei Wei et al.
Heart disease is a catch-all phrase for a variety of conditions that affect the heart’s structure and how it works.
Coronary heart disease is a type of heart disease where the arteries of the heart cannot deliver enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart. It is the leading cause of death in the United States.
A buildup of fatty plaques in the arteries (atherosclerosis) is the most common cause of coronary artery disease.
Risk factors include a poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity, and smoking. Healthy lifestyle choices can help lower the risk of plaques.
Cancer is a disease in which some of the body’s cells grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can start almost anywhere in the human body, which is made up of trillions of cells.
Tobacco use is the cause of about 22% of cancer deaths. Another 10% are due to obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity, or excessive drinking of alcohol.
Many studies have found that what and when to eat every day plays an important role in maintaining health.
But the link between the eating time of different foods and the risks of heart disease, cancer, and death is still unclear.
In the current study, researchers examined more than 20,000 US adults from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to solve the problem.
They measured meal and snack patterns throughout a whole day in these people using 24-hour dietary recall.
During follow-up, 2192 people died, including 676 deaths from heart disease and 476 deaths from cancer.
The researchers found people who ate fruit lunch had lower death risk and heart disease risk, whereas people who ate Western lunch were more likely to die because of heart disease.
In addition, people who ate vegetable dinners had lower death risk, heart disease, and cancer risks.
For the snack patterns, the team found people who ate fruit-snack after breakfast had lower death risk and cancer risk, and people who ate dairy-snack after dinner had lower risks of death and heart disease.
People who ate a starchy snack after main meals had higher death risks.
Based on these findings, the team concluded that fruit-snack after breakfast, fruit lunch, vegetable dinner, and dairy snacks after dinner are linked to lower risks of death, heart disease, and cancer.
On the other hand, Western lunch and starchy-snack after main meals are linked to higher death risk and heart disease risk.
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