How and when to eat three healthy meals each day

How and when to eat three healthy meals each day

Traditional Chinese culture considers “disease to be from your eating”. In western culture, they too have a similar understanding of “you are what you eat”. So essentially, eating is largely involved in your health. 

Many diseases can arise from an unsuitable diet. After a prolonged time there may be a slow buildup of a problem in the body which may cause common diseases such as high cholesterol, fatty liver, diabetes, gain weight, high blood pressure and more. 

If we can organise our food with suitable amount, quality contents and right time to eat, we will benefit greatly and help to improve our health and avoid some diseases.

1. Breakfast

In the morning, you should eat foods in greater quantity and quality. In the morning, the stomach is empty from a long night of resting and digestion.

Quantity of food: Is eating a bigger (up to 80%-90% fullness) meal at breakfast as you have a whole day to digest the food and use the energy.

Quality of food: Is including protein in your meal such as meat, eggs, bean curd, dairy products, nuts. You should also eat vegetables, salad or fruit. 

Depending on your age and health conditions, you can add other foods on top of your breakfast as well.

2. Lunch

For lunch, we suggest that you eat the same quality foods as your breakfast and a slightly less quantity of food (70%-80% fullness).

3. Dinner

Dinner should be your smallest meal. This means still eating quality foods but a smaller quantity of food. It is best to eat less protein and more vegetables. At night time your metabolism slows down so eating foods which can be easily broken down is best. We suggest to eat approximately 60%-70% fullness.

Eating dinner too late is not healthy. As eating close to sleeping time, it will cause problems such as: indigestion, cholesterol problems, weight gain, diabetes. I suggest that you give 2 to 3 hours between your dinner and sleep, especially not going to bed straight after your dinner.

The suggestions above are for the general population. If you have a special constitution or disease you may need a special diet. Please contact your professional Diet Therapist or experienced TCM practitioner for a suitable diet for you.

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Dr Ping Wang is the clinic founder and senior practitioner of Ping Ming Health. She has over 30 years of experience in traditional Chinese medicine teaching and practice. Dr Ping especially enjoys sharing her knowledge of Chinese medicine through our popular clinic articles, seminars and clinical training of students and practitioners.