The Culture of Eating

I was talking with someone recently who mentioned that when they were growing up in Asia, they ate meals in the following manner:

Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince, Dinner like a Pauper.

I realized that the most common topics around diet seem to be about counting calories and which foods to eat or avoid. There doesn’t seem to be much discussion surrounding the allocation of calories to each meal.

Digestion is the process of absorbing nutrients from the food we eat. The absorption occurs in the stomach, and both the small and large intestine. After consuming a meal the food stays in the stomach for roughly an hour, and then is slowly emptied over an additional 3 hours into the small intestine. It takes an additional 2.5-3 hours for the small intestine to empty into the large intestine.

The body uses carbohydrates for energy, and any excess is stored as fat for later use. If one eats cereal, porridge, or any other carbs in the morning before an 8h work day, presumably those starches have been digested and used for energy long before dinner time. Whereas eating high amounts of starch shortly before bed would suggest that most of those calories would be stored as you sleep. Reasonably, a larger meal at 6pm followed by a workout at 7:30pm would put the carbs to use instead of being stored.

It definitely seems to be that part of healthy eating includes when to eat certain calories, in addition to which calories we should be eating.