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Does Eating Earlier Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk & More? Researchers Say Yes.

Does Eating Earlier Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk & More? Researchers Say Yes.

Mar 22, 2024 | Healthful Eating, Research Findings

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that I may earn a small commission from, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I use or have used myself. All opinions expressed here are my own.

The Link Between Circadian Rhythm & Overall Health

You may be familiar with the benefits of aligning the day’s activities with your circadian rhythm: improved sleep, hormonal balance, and productivity, along with lowered stress. But did you know it also impacts metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and weight loss? When we disrupt our internal 24-hour clock, we increase our risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic disorder, and weight gain. Why?

“In the morning, in response to daylight and food, insulin sensitivity increases and melatonin decreases, making you feel alert and energized. Meanwhile, in the evening, melatonin levels go up and insulin sensitivity decreases, preparing your body for rest and cell repair,” explains registered dietician Jessica Tong1

To work with your circadian rhythm instead of against it, researchers recommend a simple habit: eating during daylight hours and fasting for the remaining 12 hours or more each day.3 Ideally, it is best to have your largest meals at breakfast and lunch, while keeping dinner minimal. Experts also recommend having your morning meal within two hours of waking and consuming 75% of your daily calories before 3:00 PM.

Since insulin sensitivity is highest in the morning, this is the time to eat more carbohydrate-heavy meals as your body is able to handle it more readily — whereas protein in the afternoon and/or early evening keeps your blood sugar levels in-check when your body isn’t quite as efficient at metabolizing carbs.

Holistic nutritionist Tatiana Ridley notes, “Circadian rhythms are cyclic endogenous (built-in) biological patterns that follow a 24-hour cycle that regulates the timing of physiology, metabolism, and behavior. When your mealtimes don’t match your body clock, it may spike fat-storing hormones, causing weight gain.”4

Close up view of alarm clock on a plate intermittent fasting diet

What’s more, research published in the journal Nature Communications found those who ate their meals earlier in the day (the first before 8:00 AM and the last before 9:00 PM) had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.2

For the study, researchers examined the medical records of 103,389 adults with a median age of 42 — including both men and women. They discovered that delaying the first meal of the day increased the risk of heart disease by six percent with each hour of postponement. Those who consumed the last meal of the day after 9:00 PM experienced a 28% higher risk of cerebrovascular disease. On the flip side, the team found each additional hour of nighttime fasting was associated with an overall lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Nicole Apelian getting ready for bed sleep

The Importance of Quality Sleep

Interestingly, sleep is closely tied to hunger-regulating hormones: ghrelin and leptin. The first stimulates your appetite, while the second curbs it. When your sleep is disturbed, irregular, or just plain poor, your circadian rhythm is disrupted, which causes increased ghrelin and lower levels of leptin. This results in sugar cravings and a spike in hunger.

Those who do shift work, travel often through different time zones, or suffer from insomnia/poor sleep are at a higher risk of health issues — including obesity. For this reason, it is crucial to support your circadian rhythm by adopting a sleep hygiene protocol, such as going to bed before 10:00 PM each night, avoiding blue light devices two hours before bedtime, having exposure to bright sunlight (or a SAD light) before noon, and adopting a relaxing bedtime routine (reading, a hot bath, stretching, a mug of calming herbal tea, etc.). I also recommend our powerfully effective Sleep Blend if you struggle with getting enough deep, quality rest.

Nicoles Apothecary Heart Health Tincture

Herbal Solutions for Cardiovascular Health & Blood Sugar Regulation

Beyond aligning the day with your circadian rhythm and supporting healthy sleep patterns, several specific botanicals are helpful for encouraging cardiovascular health and balanced blood sugar levels. My convenient Heart Health Blend contains potent herbal extracts that help to regulate blood glucose, lower LDL cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and maintain healthy blood pressure levels. These include:


  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Decreases triglycerides and cholesterol in animal models
  • Promotes circulatory health
  • Excellent source of heart-healthy antioxidants, including polyphenols
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Eases anxiety and depression


  • Helpful for diabetics
  • Regulates blood sugar levels
  • Slows absorption of carbohydrates
  • Increases insulin release
  • Controls appetite and fat consumption
  • Tames inflammation
  • Improves the efficiency of how the body uses sugar


  • Reduces blood glucose levels and insulin resistance
  • Enhances the production of insulin
  • Lowers cholesterol and improves lipid profiles
  • Helps to prevent weight gain
  • Supports heart health by soothing anxiety and stress
  • High in antioxidants
  • Calms inflammation


  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Combats obesity by decreasing fat absorption
  • Regulates cholesterol levels
  • Strengthens blood vessel walls
  • Lowers blood sugar levels and insulin resistance
  • Outstanding antioxidant profile, including anthocyanins
  • Powerful anti-inflammatory

This powerful formulation is also outstanding for supporting vision and the eyes. Are you ready to take your cardiovascular health to the next level? Stop by the apothecary today to learn more about how our range of herbal extracts can help you achieve your wellness goals!

Nicole Apelian

Nicole’s Apothecary Products in this Post

Nicoles Apothecary Heart Health Blend Tincture

Heart Health Blend Tincture

Nicole's Apothecary Sleep Blend Tincture

Sleep Blend Tincture

  1. “Everything You Need To Know About The Circadian Rhythm Diet” by Noam Nazish, Forbes Magazine, February 29, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2020/02/29/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-circadian-rhythm-diet/?sh=609d321973f0
  2. Palomar-Cros, A., Andreeva, V. A., Fezeu, L. K., Julia, C., Bellicha, A., Kesse-Guyot, E., Hercberg, S., Romaguera, D., Kogevinas, M., Touvier, M., & Srour, B. (2023). Dietary circadian rhythms and cardiovascular disease risk in the prospective NutriNet-Santé cohort. Nature communications, 14(1), 7899. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-43444-3
  3. Boege, H. L., Bhatti, M. Z., & St-Onge, M. P. (2021). Circadian rhythms and meal timing: impact on energy balance and body weight. Current opinion in biotechnology, 70, 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copbio.2020.08.009
  4. “Eating meals early can help reduce cardiovascular disease risk” by Eileen Bailey, Medical News Today, December 15, 2023. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/eating-meals-early-can-reduce-cardiovascular-disease-risk

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