Nancy Dell: When to eat during the day; Are raw sprouts safe?

1. I am trying to stay at 1400 calories. Does it matter when I eat them?
Mickey, Internet

Generally, I say eat only when you are physically hungry and stop eating when you get the signal that you are no longer hungry. You may have also heard “eat like a king at breakfast, a prince at lunch and a pauper at dinner”. That may not fit everyone’s lifestyle.

Now scientists at Salk Institute for Biological Studies found eating all your calories in a 12-hour window can improve your weight. These studies were done with mice but the researchers say the results likely apply to humans.

The researchers had mice follow different types of diets; high and low fat, high and low carb, and all the calories were the same. The difference was that some ate whenever they wanted and others ate within a 12 hour window. Some of the mice switched groups after a while to see what would happen.

After 38 weeks, all the mice that ate the calories all day long became obese. The mice that ate the same calories, but in a 9 to 12 hour window, were lean. The researchers don’t fully understand why but think the 12 hour eating pattern improves metabolism. Until more studies are done, eating all your calories in a 12 hour period is worth a try. Remember that the clock starts ticking at the first sip of coffee in the morning.

2. Is it OK to eat raw bean sprouts?
Cindy, Internet

I used to love bean sprouts and hummus but no more! There have been at least 35 outbreaks of food poisoning from sprouts since the mid 1990s.

Un-sprouted seeds become contaminated in the field or in storage. When you sprout beans at room temperature for 2 to 7 days, the bacteria can grow as well. Much of the bacteria can not be washed off. All you can do to kill them is cook the sprouts. Experts say “do not eat them raw”.

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