How MANY meals for better health?

I have never believed in the old adage that the healthiest way to eat is to enjoy six small meals a day.

It just never made sense to me. And nowadays, plenty of research backs me up.

Of course, I also hate when researchers jump to conclusions and say things like, “individuals eating only one meal a day are more likely to die than those who had more daily meals.”

That’s a HUGE jump to conclusion.

The goal? To minimize the benefits of intermittent fasting (IF).

The result? Utter confusion.

So, let’s talk about how many meals we should we be eating on a daily basis…

The importance of quality

According to a new study, eating six meals a day might prove deadly.

More specifically, researchers found eating meals close together—within 4.5 hours or less of each other—could skyrocket all-cause mortality (death) risk.

But in the same breath, they also suggested limiting your intake to just one meal daily—instead of three—is associated with higher cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related and all-cause mortality.

So, which is it?

Well, they failed to highlight that when participants diagnosed with CVD and cancer were excluded from the analysis, the statistical significance disappeared among those practicing IF (one meal daily).

Not to mention, skipping meals is more common than you think. In fact, a meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal found that 40 percent of Americans skip meals—and at least one in five skip breakfast or lunch. (I never would have guessed this, given our diabesity crisis!)

Now, I’m not suggesting skipping a meal on a whim—smart dietary choices are crucial to good health. Some people might thrive practicing IF, whereas others might be perfectly healthy enjoying more meals throughout the day.

That’s why this study makes no sense to me. And after three decades of focusing on diet and health, I know I have a leg to stand on.

Here’s my advice…

‘Unfiltered’ dietary advice

The “answer” here is quite simple: The quality of food we eat will always be more important than WHEN we eat it.

And that’s exactly why I provide the same, unfiltered advice time and time again…

Ultra-processed foods must be avoided, as they are actually linked to CVD-related and all-cause mortality. Sugar and simple carbohydrates have to go too.

Instead, eat real, unprocessed food—because that’s what makes humans the healthiest they can be.

As always, I recommend lean protein (grass-fed and -finished beef, organic poultry, wild-caught fish and seafood), fresh produce, nuts and seeds, eggs—anything unprocessed.

For more personalized dietary advice, check out my A-List Diet.

Until next time,
Dr. Fred

“Shorter Intervals Between Meals Linked to Higher Mortality.” Medscape, 12/01/2022. (