A high fat diet is not just bad for your heart, it also throws off your body rhythm or the internal body clock and interferes with metabolic functions in your body.

A study done by Joe Bass, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Neurobiology and Physiology in Northwestern University in Chicago, USA was published in the journal Cell Metabolism, look at the relationship between body clock and metabolism. The question is “ Does food alter the body clock?” The answer is yes.

Joe Bass studied on a group of genetically identical mice. Fed them on a regular diet for the first 2 weeks. Then, split the mice into 2 groups. For the next 6 weeks, one group of mice was fed a high fat diet and another group was fed a regular diet. Both groups were kept in the dark so that it is only the internal body clock that is controlling the metabolism.

The first group of mice that was fed a high fat diet exhibited a shift in eating, activity, resting and sleeping pattern. They were eating during normal sleeping time and consuming more calories than compared to the second group of mice that were fed a regular diet. There was no change in behaviour in the second group of mice.

The high fat diet altered the gene level, changing the timing of the gene switching on and off. This affected the chemicals coded by the gene, thus, altering the metabolism in the organs and the cycle of activities.

On the other hand, if the high fat diet is carefully scheduled, it can reduce body weight.

A study done by Professor Oren Froy from the Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science & Nutrition, Hebrew University was published in FASED journal. This was an 18 weeks study on a group of mice fed on a high fat diet dispensed at the same time, same length of time everyday. One control group was fed on low fat diet without schedule and another control group was fed on an unscheduled high fat diet .

After 18 weeks, the scheduled high fat diet group of mice reduced in body weight compared to all the control groups. Even though the mice on high fat scheduled diet consumed the same calories as the mice on low fat unscheduled diet, the weight loss is higher.

This study suggested that timing and scheduled meals regulate the body clock and reduce the impact of a high fat diet. Carefully scheduled high fat diet can regulate the body metabolism to not store the fat but use the fat for energy when no food is available.

Therefore, timing is everything. Eating a high fat diet can affect your body clock and rhythm. However, if you time the meals properly it can help to reduce the negative impact of the high fat diet on the body.

Respect your body clock and you will prevent many health problems that arise with the disruption of the body rhythm.

Have you been listening and sticking to your body rhythm? Share with me in the comment box below.

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