Eating a balanced diet is essential for staying active and healthy, but recent research shows that it's not only what we eat, but when we eat that matters. Eran Segal is a computational biologist at the Weizman Institute of Science, and his research has shown that bacteria in the gut varies during the day. These bits of bacteria in the gut are responsible for a digestion and absorption of nutrients. Levels of different bacteria fluctuate up and down throughout the day. While the body has a circadian rhythm of wake and sleep cycles, Segal's research shows that the gut also has a rhythm similar to the body.
The gut microbiome also affects metabolism. Between the body's circadian clock and the fluctuating levels of gut bacteria throughout the day, looking at the time of day when a meal is consumed is just as important as what that meal includes. Since each person is different regarding the gut microbiome, a healthy diet will be different for each person. While many dieters focus on carbs, fat, and protein, paying attention to meal times and how you feel at various points in the day is also a significant part of maintaining a healthy diet.