Posted on

What are the best times for a Jake?

White room with desk, plant, light and clock

What are the best times to eat Jake?

One of the benefits of Jake is that there are no rules bound to our meals, you can plan your meals to match your needs. But if you do want some inspiration or are curious to the science behind the times and meals, then this blog’s perfect for you.

It is common knowledge that quantity and quality of our food intake has a big say in our physical and mental health. However, more and more comes to surface explaining the best times in a day to eat your meals and time its contribution to our wellbeing.

The biological basis for an optimal meal timing

Circadian clocks are a biological time management system that is present in pretty much every bodily cell. It coordinates the timing of our daily behaviour (e.g. sleeping/waking up, eating/not eating) and physiology (e.g. hormone release and heartfunction). These clocks are often influenced by signals from our environments, like light and foods, in order to tune our internal clocks to our surroundings.

When your biological clocks do not match your surrounding, there’s a good chance it’s negatively impacting your health. We know that our body expects to use certain fuels (fats and sugars) on certain times a day. Your body can best digest foods when you’re active and there’s light involved. So eating and drinking when your body expects to rest (and it being dark) can strongly disrupt your digestive system. However, having a consistent daily cycle of eating and fasting can help build a healthy circadian clock and optimise your metabolism.

Intermittent fasting and time restricted eating

There’s different diet types you can use to control your eating habits. We’ll now dive deeper in to intermittent fasting (IF) and time restricted eating (TRE).

Intermittent fasting means you get less or no calories during certain periods of time. There’s multiple IF diets out there, including:

  1. Fasting every other day: complete fasting (water only) mixed with normal eating days.
  2. Varied fasting every other day: fasting for 75% less calories, combined with normal eating days.
  3. Periodical fasting: full fasting days, usually one day a week or multiple days a month. Consuming a low-calorie diet (often <1000kcal) during 3 to 5 following days every 2 or 3 months. The 5:2-diet is a specific version of periodical fasting, usually 5 days a week without limitations (time or calories) and 2 days of adjusted fasting (with limitations, time or calories).

Our body uses stored energy, one of them being fats, during fasting. This makes the keton-levels rise, to meet the bodies energy standards. Research suggests fasting improves many organ functions, including your brains.

Time restricted eating (TRE) is a new strategy for meal timing where you digest all of your daily calories in an interval of 8 to 12 hours or shorter. There are leads on TRE improving the metabolism and cardiovascular health by optimising the circadian clock. In mice, for example, time restricted feeding (TRF) prevents obesity and reverses diabetes, supports healthy bacteria in the gut and reduces inflammation. In fruit flies, TRF prevents and solves heart problems caused by unhealthy diets and ageing. In rodents, TRF also has other benefits, such as reducing the symptoms of Huntington’s disease. Small human studies have tested a daily eating duration of 4 to 11 hours a day and found that TRE lowers blood pressure, improves blood sugar levels and can help with weight, energy levels, sleep and appetite. Some benefits of TRE even occurred when people were not losing weight, suggesting that a shorter daily eating duration may improve health independent of weight loss. In human studies, there has been no explicit attempt to reduce calories, but some calorie reduction may occur, which could explain some of the health benefits.

The effect of when we eat

In addition to daily eating duration, the time of day we eat (also called the phase) seems to influence our health. For example, metabolic research in mice often uses a high-fat diet to induce obesity and metabolic disorders, to study them and to test therapeutic interventions. Interestingly, mice on a high-fat diet change their diet and eat a significantly greater proportion of their food during their usual sleep/rest phase, compared to mice on a low-fat diet. Studies have shown that calorie intake during the sleep/rest phase plays a role in metabolic diseases.

Research in young adults has shown that eating when the levels of the sleep hormone melatonin begin to rise (just before bedtime) is associated with having more body fat. In a randomised weight-loss study, obese women who ate earlier in the day lost more weight. A small study in adults found that eating late at night increases blood sugar levels after the meal and the next day. Observational studies in humans have also shown that eating late at night is associated with obesity and a greater risk of poor cardiometabolic health.

The circadian system prepares the body to digest, absorb and metabolise food more efficiently earlier in the day (active phase). For example, insulin sensitivity (needed to regulate blood sugar) is greater in the morning. Thus, larger meals are better processed when eaten in the first half of the day. Conversely, since melatonin (released at night) reduces insulin release, the body cannot process glucose well if you eat late in the evening or very early in the morning, when melatonin is high. Therefore, it may be helpful to eat larger meals earlier in the day and avoid food a few hours before bedtime.

The effects of skipping breakfast are less clear. Research on breakfast habits through surveys, has shown that never having breakfast is often associated with increased risk of diabetes type 2 and/or obesity. These studies have also shown that skipping breakfast often results in eating late at night, differing eating patterns and poor food quality (more snacking with increased fats/sugars and less fruit and vegetables). Although observational data has suggested that eating breakfast is associated with lower weight, a large randomised controlled trial found that skiping breakfast (for 4 months) was associated with weight change in healthy and obese adults. The long-term effects of skipping breakfast are still unclear.

Frequency of eating

Our circadian system is mostly signalled when we eat food. That’s why it’s important to eat on consistent times to support our basic circadian rhythm. So changing your meals drastically from day to day, can interrupt your physiology, just as our sleeping pattern can be interrupted due to major change of timezone (jetlag). Mobile apps that track eating habits found that the majority of people have erratic eating habits, like eating and sleeping on different times on workdays instead of the weekend. Irregular eating patterns are often connected to obesity and diabetes type 2. That’s why having a consistent eating pattern can be beneficial for your health.

There are many differing results on the amount of meals you need for an optimal health. A solid answer to eating 3 or 5 times a day isn’t there yet.

What is the best eating habit?

There’s little to no studies with people comparing meal schedules to see which strategy beats the others. To our knowledge and available research, there’s three eating habits that are probably important for good health:

  1. A consistent daily eating pattern of less than 12 hours a day
  2. Eating most of your calories at the start of your day
  3. Avoid eating (a lot of) food just before sleeping, during any rest or in the early morning, when melatonin levels are high.

Side note

There is insufficient research to the effects of Intermittent Fasting and Time Restricted Eating for both men and women of all ages. Although short term studies found no negative effects with ≥8 hours TRE, long term effects remain unknown. It’s also important to note that certain eating habits and patterns may differ in outcome, varying per individual; what one may experience as optimal can be different for others.

Jake can help you plan meals without effort. Check all products on the website to find your perfect fit!

Posted on

Why are oats a valuable addition to a Jake Food shake?

Oats in a bowl

Why are oats a valuable addition to a Jake Food shake?

Just like oat flour, oats can be found on the ingredient declaration of the Jake shakes. In this article we’ll discuss what oats are, and why oats are a valuable addition to your diet.

The fiber in the shakes comes from the oat flour that is added to the powder of the shakes. Oats were mainly used for feeding animals, but this is now declining due to the increasing growth in the human diet due to the health benefits associated with dietary fiber such as β-glucan. Dietary fiber is only found in plant based foods, it’s the remnant of the edible parts of the plants that are resistant to the human digestive system.

β-glucan is an important example of this, this dietary fiber is not digestible but it’s soluble in water. This occurs a viscous texture with water after eating β-glucan, which gives the eaten food a higher viscosity. This slows down the emptying of the stomach into the small intestine, which also means that it takes longer for glucose and sterols to be absorbed into the blood. Most of the health benefits of oats are also linked to β-glucan for this reason.

What are the health benefits of oats?

1: Improving insulin response and lowering blood sugar. As mentioned earlier, β-glucan has an effect on gastric emptying. A 2005 study showed that after consuming oat bread, blood sugar levels were lower at 15, 30 and 45 minutes compared to when white bread was eaten. So, the peak level is flattened much more and the shape of the plasma glucose response curve is much flatter. These changes reduce the feeling of hunger caused by a rapid decrease in blood glucose.

2: Cholesterol-lowering effect. The significant clinical evidence for the cholesterol-lowering effects of β-glucan has led health authorities in the US, Europe and elsewhere to authorize health claims that attribute a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease, to the consumption of specific amounts (typically 3g per day) of β-glucan. The mechanism by which β-glucan can lower cholesterol levels is believed to be related to its ability to enhance bile acid excretion. β-glucan binds to bile acids in the gut, preventing cholesterol from being transported back to the liver. This causes the concentration of bile acids in the blood to drop, causing the liver to produce more bile acids from the cholesterol still present. This then lowers cholesterol levels in the liver, activating other processes that transport cholesterol from the blood to the liver.

3: Feeling satiated faster. In 2014, a study was conducted into the effect of feeling hungry after consuming oats. It was shown that different concentrations of β-glucan (0.7%, 3.5% and 7%) had an effect on the energy intake in mice. The energy intake and body weight decreased after the 6 week study. The increased interaction with the cells that release satiety hormones stimulates the release of peptides involved in the regulation of appetite. Appetite decreased after consuming β-glucan.

4: Cancer prevention. The higher degree of β-glucan has been proven to be associated with anti-cancer effects. A 2008 study showed that a bioactive form of β-glucan (Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharides) has the ability to stimulate the maturation of dendritic cells. These effects are implicated in the suppression of cancer cells.

An earlier study (2007) also found a link between the consumption of β-glucan and the enhancement of the immune response resulting in apoptosis (the process in which a cell kills itself). It is therefore clear that β-glucan has an effect on the inhibition of cancer cells, only how this works exactly remains to be clarified.

Afraid to miss out on essential nutrients your body needs? You can always take our Jake meal replacement shakes or one of our delicious meal replacement bars.

Posted on

Oaty Vanilla Update

The vanilla shakes have been slightly updated. To ensure that we always have sufficient stock, from this point on we’re getting the vanilla shakes from our Dutch supplier.

Our Dutch supplier cooperates a lot with local raw material producers. As a result, sometimes the exact same ingredients as before can taste slightly different.

In terms of ingredients, little has changed. The most important difference is that in the new shakes, we’re using whole grain oatmeal. This type of oatmeal is richer in dietary fibre, which gives the shake a bit more structure than before and a finer taste.

Another change is the aroma. In the new shakes, we use natural flavours instead of the vanillin we used previously. Natural flavours aren’t necessarily better or healthier than non-natural flavours. However, we do think they contribute to a finer overall taste of the shake.

In a nutshell, the biggest changes are in the taste and the sensory experience of the shakes. You can find the ingredients and the full nutrition info of the new shakes on the compare page.

We hope you’re as happy with this update as we are! You can order the shakes here:

Posted on

The Vitaminbar: Everything You Need to Know

We love food that’s easy, healthy and sustainable. Every meal replacement shake we make meets these three requirements. And yet, when it comes to ‘easy’, we know all too well that it means different things in different situations. Sometimes even pouring water into a shaker can be too much work. That’s where the Vitaminbar comes in.

The Vitaminbar is a 330-calorie snack that is ready to eat and easy to bring with you wherever you go. You can use it as a light breakfast, a 4pm snack or just anytime you get the munchies.

What’s inside?

Let’s start with what’s not inside. The Vitaminbar is completely soy-free, nuts-free, lactose-free and animal-free. As for the rest, it’s packed with nutrients.


Each Vitaminbar contains 19-20g protein and has a complete amino acid profile. It’s all about the right combination of protein sources. The protein in the Vitaminbar comes from peas, oats and rice. Pea protein lacks the sulphur-containing amino acids cysteine and methionine, whereas oats and rice protein provide a surplus of them. Together, they make for a complete amino acid profile.

At 12-14g sugar per bar, the Vitaminbar packs less sugar than a banana and twice the amount of dietary fibre, at about6g). Fibre is important for the normal functioning of your digestive system and it helps lower your blood pressure.

There’s fat in there, too. The good kind. The Vitaminbar is a good source of essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. At the same time, we’ve kept saturated fat to a minimum, at 1.6-2.2g per bar.

Vitamins and minerals

With each bar you’re getting at least 25% of the recommended daily amounts of every vitamin and mineral. For particular vitamins and minerals, like vitamin D, phosphorus and iron, you’re even getting more than that. Here’s why.

Vitamin D and iron deficiencies are among the most prevalent micronutrient deficiencies worldwide. By increasing the amounts you get with each Vitaminbar, we’re minimising the risk that you don’t get enough of them.

At the same time, we always consider the absorption rate of different nutrients. Just like the rest of our ingredients, the iron we use in the Vitaminbars comes from plant sources. Its absorption rate is about 10%, which is rather low compared to the 25% absorption rate of iron from animal sources. To compensate for this difference without involving animals in the process, we’ve boosted the amount of iron per bar.

Vitaminbar flavours

The Vitaminbar is available in two flavours, Forest Fruit and Coffee Cacao:

Forest Fruit is a tight mess full of nutrients, whole grain oats and fruity bits. It tends to make a good first impression with its fruity scent and a flavour that’s just the right level of sweet.

Coffee Cacao is a chunky bar with a mild cacao flavour and an extra kick: it contains the same amount of caffeine as a regular cup of coffee. You can trust Coffee Cacao to wake you up and get you going.

Want to take a closer look at the Vitaminbars’ nutritional info? All details are here. For the closest look possible, order a box of Vitaminbars here.