Eat this to shrink fat and sleep like a baby

Eat this to shrink fat and sleep like a baby

Eat this to shrink fat and sleep like a baby

By: Easy Health Options Staff

What’s that one food you know you have to avoid in the evenings because it will ruin a good night’s sleep?

For many it’s coffee — as well as spicy foods that can instigate heartburn or an upset stomach that can leave you tossing and turning.

Sugar can leave you with a little too much energy before bedtime too.

But you might be surprised at what else may be keeping you from falling — and staying — asleep.

Fiber and fat. Not enough of one and too much of the other, according to researchers at Columbia University Medical Center, can impact the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep. 1

“Our main finding was that diet quality influenced sleep quality,” said principal investigator Marie-Pierre St-Onge, PhD, assistant professor in the department of medicine and Institute of Human Nutrition at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, N.Y. “It was most surprising that a single day of greater fat intake and lower fiber could influence sleep parameters.”

Why would more fat ruin your sleep? Saturated fats act like energy in the body — high energy — and that increased energy, even though you may feel sleepy, makes for a poor night’s sleep.

Don’t misinterpret that as meaning that saturated fats are bad for you. These fats, found in meat, dairy products, coconut oil and avocado — to name a few sources — do good things in the body. They provide building blocks for cell membranes and hormones. They also bring you important vitamins—A, D, E and K.

Fiber supports sound sleep

So don’t think you have to drastically cut down on your saturated fats to sleep better. In actuality, balance is the key. And most of us don’t enjoy balanced nutrition. That’s where the other half of the puzzle comes in — fiber.

Current recommended dietary guidelines suggest you should consume around 25-38 grams of fiber per day, and more could be better. Most Americans are nowhere near that — eating barely 15 grams daily on average. But if you get the right balance of fiber — and fat — you’ll be sleeping like a baby and helping your body ward off a host of chronic diseases including heart disease and colon cancer.

If you’re not sure what foods can give you the biggest bang for your buck in fiber content, see this list of high fiber foods by category.

But for more on the importance of fiber and fat in your diet and other easy ways to keep your health humming along, check out Dr. Cutler’s book, The Part-Time Health Nut.

According to Dr. Cutler, fiber can be your biggest friend when it comes to weight loss and fighting off your body’s desire for sugar (another sleep loss culprit), “One trick for fighting off your body’s craving for fat and sugar and, in the process, burning off body fat and losing pounds, is to fill your diet with fibrous fruits and vegetables. Research at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, for instance, shows that for every extra 10 grams of fiber you consume daily, your visceral fat, the health-threatening fat that surrounds your organs, shrinks.”

[1] Fiber and Saturated Fat Are Associated with Sleep Arousals and Slow Wave Sleep — Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine

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