Participants also kept a log of what they ate for a week at the beginning of the study and again one year later.
The results concluded that the women who ate a higher portion of calories later in the day had overall poorer heart health.
"So far, lifestyle approaches to prevent heart disease have focused on what we eat and how much we eat. These preliminary results indicate that intentional eating that is mindful of the timing and proportion of calories in evening meals may represent a simple, modifiable behavior that can help lower heart disease risk,” Nour Makarem, the study’s author, said.
Other findings include:
- Women who consume more of their calories after 6 p.m. are more likely to have higher blood pressure.
- Eating after 6 p.m. was also found to contribute to higher body mass index.
- Eating more calories after 6 p.m. had a greater impact on the blood pressure of Hispanic women, even when adjusting for age and socioeconomic status.
"It is never too early to start thinking about your heart health whether you're 20 or 30 or 40 or moving into the 60s and 70s. If you're healthy now or if you have heart disease, you can always do more. That goes along with being heart smart and heart healthy,” Dr. Kristin Newby said.