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

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RALEIGH — 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 aheart attack during the two hours afterwards, especially for people whohave heart disease. After a heavy dinner, the heart beats 20 to 30percent faster and harder, putting itunder great stress.

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

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

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