Large breakfasts and small dinners are beneficial for diabetes patients. Both of these meals help control blood sugar in those with type 2 diabetes, according to a recent study.
Diabetes who ate large breakfasts and small dinners each day had fewer periods of high blood sugar than those who ate small breakfasts and large dinners each day, researchers found.
Blood sugar is another name for blood glucose, which controls the body’s “internal clock,” according to Reuters Health. It typically elevates after evening meals, says Dr. Daniela Jakubowickz. She spoke with the news site exclusively via email.
She stated that patients with type 2 diabetes base their meals on their “internal clocks.” Skipping breakfast is often linked to obesity and poor blood sugar control.
“They frequently skip breakfast while eating a high-calorie dinner.”
This new study involved eight men and ten women who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. They ranged in ages from 30 to 70, and were being treated with the diabetes drug metformin, or nutrition and dietary advice alone, according to Inforum.
The group had to follow a strict meal plan that included a 700-calorie breakfast and a 200-calorie dinner, or a 200-calorie breakfast and a 700-calorie dinner. Both of these diets included a 600-calorie lunch, according to the news source. The participants had to follow the diet plan for six days at home, then spent a day at the clinic, where they underwent several blood tests. The group had to repeat this experiment for two weeks with another diet plan.
Researchers found that blood glucose levels were 20 percent lower after dinner, and insulin levels were 20 percent higher, during the time that participants ate large breakfasts and small dinners, according to the results found in Diabetologia.
“Our study demonstrated that a large breakfast and reduced dinner is a beneficial alternative for the management of glucose balance during the day and should be considered as a therapeutic strategy in type 2 diabetes.”
Jakubowicz admitted that several longer studies would be needed to determine if the benefits will continue overtime. Still, these results show that breakfast is still the most important meal of the day. However, the new findings may not relate to other patients with diabetes. Anna Taylor, a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic, explained the importance of eating a large meal in the morning.
“Select your calories with care, however; what you eat, how you eat, and when you eat all play an important role in your nutrition as well as your health.”
It hasn’t been suggested what kind of large breakfast those with type 2 diabetes should eat each morning. It’s only been suggested that they should eat a 700-calorie breakfast. Taylor says that patients with type 1 diabetes who take insulin should talk with their endocrinologists before changing their diets.
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