A New Year means a new start! And like many of us, you'll be wanting to boost your health for the better.
So if you're looking to pick up good habits for 2015, you will definitely need to curb that bad habit of late night snacking. According to the New York Times, late night dinner and/or snacking is the culprit for many health problems that are avoidable.
Dr. Jamie Koufman, a physician practicing out of New York City says that pushing your meals past the proper cut-off time creates issues of acid reflux, indigestion, post nasal drip difficulty swallowing, chronic throat clearing, coughing and even asthma.
If you combine all of these ailments together, Koufman says the sales of the prescribed and over-the-counter medications to remedy these ailments comes up to well over $13 billion per year.
"What is responsible for these disturbing developments? The answer is our poor diet, with its huge increases in the consumption of sugar, soft drinks, fat and processed foods. But there is another important variable that has been under-appreciated and overlooked: our dinnertime," Koufman explained.
"Over the past two decades, I've noticed that the time of the evening meal has been trending later and later among my patients," the expert noted. "The after-work meal - already later because of longer work hours - is often further delayed by activities such as shopping and exercise."
Koufman says that eating late is often accompanied by overeating too, because many skip breakfast and eat only a sandwich at lunch. "Thus the evening meal becomes the largest meal of the day. After that heavy meal, it's off to the sofa to watch television," the physician explained.
So what's the best way to get your body back on track? Koufman says eat earlier.
"To stop the remarkable increase in reflux disease, we have to stop eating by 8 p.m., or whatever time falls at least three hours before bed," Koufman said.
"For many people, eating dinner early represents a significant lifestyle shift. It will require eating well-planned breakfasts, lunches and snacks, with healthy food and beverage choices."
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