5 Dinner Habits That May Shorten Your Lifespan

Written by Dr. Veena Madhankumar and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team

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Our dietary habits can either prolong or decrease our lifespan. In fact, most of us do not consume a nutritionally balanced diet and forget to eat the recommended amount of vegetables and fruits and binge on sugary and high-calorie foods. A study linked longevity to five lifestyle factors, and our diet is one of the five factors.

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There are various food habits that could shorten your lifespan, but here, we have listed the most common blunders people make during dinner. To avoid ingestion and enjoy a good night’s sleep, have a light dinner as our physical activity is reduced at night.

1. Cocktail Before Dinner

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A glass of wine or a drink while cooking or relaxing before dinner sounds divine, but cocktails increase your appetite, resulting in more calorie consumption. A study also proved that people who drink vodka with orange juice consume more food and fatty foods than those who drink only orange juice. This effect is called the aperitif effect.

2. Microwave and Plastic Containers

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When you microwave your food by keeping it in a plastic container and covering it in a plastic sheet, you consume harmful chemicals. Your food, especially fatty foods, get contaminated with phthalates and BPA (Bisphenol-A) that get released by non-microwave safe containers. These chemicals are believed to work as endocrine disruptors, meaning they act like hormones that disturb the healthy cells and interrupt the endocrine system. Instead of using plastic containers, transfer your food to a ceramic container or a microwave-safe glass.

3. No Activity After Dinner

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It is essential to either go for a walk or be a little active after dinner to live a long and healthy life. According to the American Cancer Society, sitting for an extended period is associated with a high risk of death from diseases like heart disease, cancer, stroke, kidney disease, lung disease, liver disease, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Taking a short walk after dinner will keep you healthy and fit and has various other health benefits. It also improves digestion, maintains blood sugar levels, reduces heart disease risk, promotes weight loss, and reduces blood pressure.

4. Eating Very Fast

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Gulping down food can make you gain weight and affect your heart. This was reported by the American Heart Association in a scientific conference in 2017. When you eat quickly, you fail to chew your food properly, which affects digestion and absorption of essential nutrients. Fast eaters are 11.6 % more predisposed to have metabolic syndrome (a cluster of high blood pressure, high blood glucose levels, and high triglycerides levels). Therefore, eating slowly by chewing your food properly will keep you more healthy.

5. Failing to Drink Water Before Dinner

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Not drinking water before dinner may lead to headaches, constipation, fatigue, poor digestion, and even weight gain due to dehydration’s adverse outcomes. When you drink water before having food, you will get a sense of fullness that will allow your body to consume fewer calories and improve digestion. This practice will also help you maintain a healthy body weight. So, try to drink water at least 30 minutes before your dinner.

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