Objectives: Despite numerous investigations, the influence of meal frequency on the lipid profile has not been clearly determined. The aim of the study was to investigate whether meal frequency corresponds with the lipid profile.
Material and methods: The cross-sectional study enrolled 495 patients of University Hospital of Lord's Transfiguration who met inclusion criteria for study treated in 2015-2017. The subjects were divided according to meal frequency into a group consuming three or fewer meals a day and a group consuming four or more meals daily. To investigate whether there is a significant difference in cholesterol fractions and triglycerides concentrations between the mentioned groups the Mann Whitney U test was performed.
Results: The group included 495 patients (66.1% women, mean age 49.9 (SD=14.7) years). The median meal frequency was 4 per day. The frequency of consumed meals a day was significantly higher for women (median 4 meals per day) than for men (3 meals per day; p<0.0001). A significant difference in serum triglycerides concentrations between the mentioned groups was observed (p<0.0001). Similarly, the difference between HDL cholesterol concentrations was presented. (p<0.01). No significant difference in the serum concentrations of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol between the group consuming 3 or fewer meals and the group consuming 4 or more meals daily was seen (p>0.05).
Conclusion: We conclude that meal frequency equaling or higher than four meals daily is associated with lower fasting triglycerides and higher HDL cholesterol concentrations than consuming no more than three meals daily.