The Healthiest Eaters Wake Up at This Time of the Day

Do you bolt out of bed bright and early, kick-starting your morning before most others are even up? You may have another advantage over your night owl counterparts that goes beyond being the first to seize the day. According to a study published in the journal Obesityearly birds are more likely to instinctively choose a healthier diet than nighttime people.

Finnish researchers monitored the diets of nearly 2000 men and women ages 25 to 74 who took a questionnaire to classify them into their chronotype. On weekdays, evening types ate less in the morning and were more likely to choose foods high in sugar and low in fiber, carbohydrates, and fats. By evening, this set of individuals was eating more sugar and fats than their morning counterparts. On weekends, night owls consumed more sugar and fats, had irregular mealtimes, and snacked twice as often.

"Evening types are more prone to live against their internal biological time," the study's lead author Mirkka Maukonen, a researcher at the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, told The New York Times. "Our society is pretty much structured to suit morning types better." While about half of our chronotype is determined by genetics (the other half is determined by environment), being aware of our natural inclinations can encourage us to make healthier lifestyle choices.

Don't miss another surprising difference between early birds and night owls.