Local News

Eating Mini-Meals Can Have An Positive Effect On Your Heart

Posted May 4, 2001 5:23 a.m. EDT

— New research shows there are positive health benefits in swapping the traditional three large meals a day for five or six mini-meals.

The new studies indicate eating a huge meal quadruples the risk of a heart attack during the two hours afterwards, especially for people who have heart disease. After a heavy dinner, the heart beats 20 to 30 percent faster and harder, putting it under great stress.

To help get a handle on what size a mini-meal should be, hold out your hand. A mini-meal should be no more food than will fit into your hand.

Keep in mind that by the time you chew your food and it begins to digest, that amount will fit nicely into your fist-sized stomach. It takes about 20 minutes for food to get to your stomach and the nutrients to get to your brain, telling you that you are full.

The mini-meals can also help stabilize your blood sugar and give you a constant supply of fuel. They should be between 300 and 400 calories with a balance of about 20 percent protein, 50 percent carbohydrates and less than 30 percent of the calories from fat.