If you haven’t heard, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. Happy Valentine’s Day.
But guess what? New evidence shows that doing something as simple as meal planning can impact risk factors for heart disease, according to a new statement published by the American Heart Association journal.
“Meal timing may affect health due to its impact on the body’s internal clock,” said Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Ph.D., an associate professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University in New York City.
While St-Onge indicated that more research would need to be done in humans before this can be stated as a fact, this is especially good news for meal-kit delivery companies such as Blue Apron or Hello Fresh. These types of services have really taken off in the last year, mostly marketing to people who don’t have time to get to the grocery store or plan a meal. But now, these companies have another advantageous marketing angle. Or perhaps, one of the meal-kit companies will step up to sponsor research in humans.
There is also a link between eating breakfast and having lower heart disease risk factors. Studies have found people who eat breakfast daily are less likely to have high cholesterol and blood pressure, and people who skip breakfast — about 20 percent to 30 percent of U.S. adults — are more likely to be obese, have inadequate nutrition, show evidence of impaired glucose metabolism or be diagnosed with diabetes.
Does this open the door for meal-kit companies to start delivering breakfast and lunch? Can I eat breakfast Crunchwraps® more frequently and still lower heart disease risk factors? (I would gladly sign up to participate in that study.)
In all seriousness, the way that Americans eat meals is constantly evolving and the food companies trying to keep up with those trends will need to evolve too. Taco Bell capitalized on the late night meal, which may have been tied to findings that more people are eating late and eating at all hours (according to the American Heart Association, the percentage of men who ate three square meals a day fell from 73 percent in the 1970s to 59 percent in 2010).
I’m interested to see how the meal-kit companies will evolve over the next few years. Will they be stronger than ever or will they fizzle out like other delivery service trends? Taking advantage of new research findings may be just one way they can capitalize on success.
Do you use meal-kit delivery services? If so, has it impacted your health? Share in the comments below.