When you eat could be just as important as what you eat, according to a new study by the Salk Institute.
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The study took a closer look at restricted eating times and found dramatic results.
"When we restrict our eating time and lengthen our fasting time, then our blood sugar level comes to normal. Our cholesterol comes to normal," said Satchin Panda, who led the team of researchers at the Salk Institute.
Scientists tested two groups of mice for 100 days. One group ate at all hours of the day and night. The other fasted and was restricted to eating only during an eight-hour period. The differences between the two groups were huge -- literally.
The mice that ate throughout the day gained weight, developed high cholesterol and suffered liver damage. The group that ate only during those eight hours weighed 28 percent less and showed no adverse effects.
For humans, scientists say it is about eating during a regular time period every day. Limiting eating times cuts down fat storage because the body burns fat during fasting.
"Our body is
designed to undergo that overnight fasting every day," said Panda. "It's not designed to do that extra six hours of eating we do every night."
Panda always recommends a good diet and exercise, but says responsible fasting is an additional tool to combat obesity.
The Centers for Disease Control shows that more than one-third of Americans are obese.
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