An unhealthy diet is considered the main risk factor for cardiovascular disease – the most common cause of death worldwide. But it’s not just what we eat that matters, but also when. What time of day is the riskiest time to eat?

In Germany alone, 358,219 people died of cardiovascular diseases last year. This emerges from a survey by the Federal Statistical Office. Accordingly, a third of all deaths are due to cardiovascular diseases. It is therefore the most common cause of death. This applies not only to Germany, but also worldwide.

Lifestyle and diet have a major impact on whether someone develops cardiovascular disease later in life. The time at which you eat also obviously plays a role. Because our eating rhythm influences metabolic processes that also affect the heart, such as the regulation of blood pressure. 

For this reason, scientists from Sorbonne University and other scientific institutions in France, in collaboration with the Barcelona Institute of Global Health in Spain, launched a study at the end of last year. It was published in the journal “Nature Communications”. Data from 103,389 adults (79 percent were women with an average age of 42) were used for the NutriNet-Santé study. 

The timing of their meals was examined and related to the risk of


The results were astonishing. They show that a first meal eaten later in the day is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. According to the study, every hour that you eat later plays a role and increases the risk

This means that anyone who eats breakfast at nine o’clock instead of eight o’clock has a six percent increased risk of illness.

But the worst thing is eating late. Anyone who eats a meal after 9 p.m. has a um

higher risk of illness compared to someone who eats at 8 p.m. According to the study, this particularly affects women.

The modern lifestyle and the chronic lack of time have led to the skipping of individual meals such as breakfast and thus to incorrectly coordinated eating habits, criticize the researchers in the study. “Our results suggest that adopting previous eating habits and combining a longer overnight fasting period with an early last meal instead of skipping breakfast may have a potential benefit in preventing cardiovascular disease,” it continued. 

Data from previous studies have already shown that breakfast is important for heart health. Leaving it out was included in analyses


Eating late in the evening also had similar effects. It has been linked to cardiovascular risk factors such as


If you want to prevent cardiovascular diseases, you should not only pay attention to the timing of food intake. According to the German Center for Cardiovascular Research, the following four measures are considered the most important protective factors: