Know Food Now What Time is Dinner? | Know Food Now

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What Time is Dinner?

For centuries meal times were as regular as clockwork.  Our early ancestors didn't like eating in the dark so the main meal of the day was usually at noon. Our medieval English forebears called this meal dinner.

With the advent of electricity and the movement of people from the farms to the cities, we now eat our main meal in the evening.  That might be at whatever time the family can sit down together, or not, but it is definitely the last meal of the day and we call that dinner.

In other countries, most notably Spain and the countries of South America, the main meal of the day remains at mid-day. Whether it is la comida or el amuerzo, this repast is usually eaten sometime between noon and 3pm.  An historical holdover, this custom is changing due to economic pressures to work an eight hour day without a siesta. La cena, or dinner, which is eaten after 9pm is also getting short shrift during the week by people who go to work and need to get up early.

In terms of healthy eating, does it really matter when you eat your largest meal?  We all have different schedules, commitments and people to accommodate so planning dinner time can be a logistical nightmare.  There are many considerations and no one meal time can be the rule for everyone. Some people ascribe to  eating small meals throughout the day instead of  at dinner time.  Others consume the most calories in the morning so they have the whole day to digest their meal.

Whatever you decide works best, stick to a daily routine and remember that what you eat for dinner is more important than what time you eat it.

Article first published as What Time is Dinner? on Technorati.

1 comment :

Jen said...

Interesting! I wondered about the various "rules" of when to eat: nothing after 8:00 PM; exercise in the morning before eating; "breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper"; ... I like your last line. What we eat is definitely more important than when!

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