The healthiest choice: hot meals for lunch or dinner?

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Traditionally, we enjoy a hot meal between 5 and 8 pm. But it used to be different. Half a century ago, it was common to eat a hot meal at lunchtime, a practice that continues in many countries to this day.

But which is healthier: a hot meal for lunch or dinner?
Eating a hot meal at lunchtime is generally better. Freshly prepared meals often contain less sugar than a sandwich, reports Dagens.com.

Nutritious and filling
Hot meals tend to be more nutritious and contain vegetables, meat, fish or cereals. These not only provide important nutrients but also keep you full for longer. As the stomach needs more time to digest such meals, people are less likely to reach for snacks.

Promotes conscious eating
A warm meal at lunchtime encourages you to take a break instead of eating quickly at your desk. This encourages more mindful eating and reduces the likelihood of overeating.

Benefits for digestion
Research shows that eating a hot meal for lunch is more beneficial for digestion compared to dinner. Your digestive system kicks into gear after a light, nutritious breakfast and is working at peak levels around lunchtime.

A study by the University of Illinois at Chicago found that people who eat the majority of their calories in the evening have a poorer metabolism, which can lead to insulin resistance and weight gain over time, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.

Timing is crucial
It is advisable to eat the lightest meal of the day when you are least active, which for most people is before bedtime. Eating more than you need not only raises your blood sugar levels, but excess calories are also more easily stored as fat.
Related video: This is what eating the same food every day does to your body (VideoElephant (video))

Easier said than done
Swapping meals so that you eat hot food at lunchtime and a sandwich in the evening doesn’t have that much effect. It is necessary to eat a nutritious and varied meal at both times. Eating warm twice a day is ideal, provided the meals are healthy, suggests Women’s Health.

Practical tips
Leftovers for lunch: Cook a little extra in the evening to eat for lunch the next day to reduce food waste.

Avoid energy lows: A big meal at lunchtime can make you feel tired as your body needs a lot of energy to digest it. Counteract this by taking a short walk after your meal.

Although a hot meal at lunchtime has its benefits, it is crucial to maintain a balance and ensure that each meal is nutritious and varied.

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