New research reveals that eating during the night increases our chances of developing heart disease and diabetes.
Scientists have discovered that nocturnal "snacking" increases the risk of both conditions, for which they blame the body's 24-hour cycle.
Researchers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico studied levels of fats called triglycerides, in the blood.
Experiments on rats showed that after they were fed fat at the beginning of their rest period, their blood fat levels increased drastically than when fed during the beginning of their active phase.
On removal of the part of the brain that controls the 24-hour cycle, they found there was no change in fat levels.
Lead author Ruud Buijs said: ''The fact that we can ignore our biological clock is important for survival; we can decide to sleep during the day when we are extremely tired or we run away from danger at night,''Newsweek reported.
He added, ''However, doing this frequently – with shift work, jet lag, or staying up late at night – will harm our health in the long-term especially when we eat at times when we should sleep.''
According to experts high blood fat levels are associated with both heart disease and diabetes.
''Probably the most serious crime against our own clock is to eat late at night,'' Buijs told Newsweek.
He explained that eating lunch does not cause the same spike in fat levels. But our bodies are not prepared for the onslaught of calories at night.
He added, as our biological clocks are synchronised by light and day, our bodies use these cues to prepare for active and sleep modes.
So when we are stuffing our system with fries at bedtime, our body is confused and cannot handle the nutrients. The nutrients stick around in the body for longer periods of time and are taken in by fat tissue, Buijs explained.