Skip to Content

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Vaccine Update. Learn More

Default Alt Text for the banner

Eating Late Increases Cancer Risk - Nutrition

Many of us know that smoking and too much sun can cause cancer. But Valerie Butram, an oncology education coordinator with Lee Health, says eating too late at night can also put people at risk for cancer. “Prevention is the key, and we can practice prevention with healthy weight management.”Eating before bed not only causes weight gain it also causes the body to work throughout the night, preventing it from rest. “As we’re developing those additional fat cells, we’re increasing our hormone levels, such as estrogen. We’re making our insulin production work harder. So we’re having more of those circulating hormones that can actually place some havoc on cancer progression, the splitting of cells,” said Butram.Having a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to prevent cancer. Excess body fat puts patients at risk of developing cancers like esophageal cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer. “New research that shows if we practice time-restricted eating we are actually working with our body clocks to tame and allow all those hormones to behave in a way that gives us more energy,” said Butram.Health experts recommend letting your body fast for 12 hours. So, for example, if you go to bed at 10 and you get up at 7 a.m., make sure you stop eating by 7 p.m. “We’re not making demands on insulin production, and we’re not making demands on digesting that food,” said Butram.Time restricted eating can also help patients lose weight, lower their risk for diabetes, and help prevent cardiac disease. “We also need to eat more whole foods, less processed, more plant food sources, so we are getting benefits of what we’re eating,” said Butram.Eating healthier foods at an earlier time can also improve sleep and allow your entire body to rest.View More Health Matters video segments at Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.Visit