According to new research, when you eat is just as important as what you consume.
Scientists from the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology analysed how the internal body clock affects metabolism and digestion, by studying mice and cell growth.
When we eat, the body releases insulin - but eating at a different biological time, for example late at night, throws off the body's rhythm.
This, in turn, triggers insulin and energy that is wasted, as the body is not active.
It has the same effect that shift work and jetlag can have in the long-term, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
The study also suggests paying particular attention to meal timing and light exposure can mitigate some of the adverse effects to maintain a healthy body clock.
This article originally appeared on 7News.