As the eminent saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”; a new study has found to support this statement where consuming a big breakfast as opposed to a reduced size in lunch and dinner may be vital for individuals seeking to lose weight & maintain blood glucose levels.
The aforementioned study led by researchers from Tel Aviv University Israel have highlighted that adults both obese and with type 2 diabetes lost more weight and improved blood glucose levels after 3 months upon having had a high energy breakfast daily.
The results of the study were presented by lead study author Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz (Professor of Medicine Tel Aviv University) & colleagues at ENDO 2018, (The Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society) held in Chicago, IL.
A foremost risk factor for type 2 diabetes is obesity, where excess weight makes it problematic for the body to utilize insulin; the hormone responsible for the effective regulation of blood glucose levels.
The Obesity Society estimates that 90% of adults with type 2 diabetes are obese or overweight.
Though switching to a more healthier diet is often the norm in addressing obesity & type 2 diabetes, Dr. Jakubowicz highlights that it’s not always what and how much we eat that might induce problems; it’s also the time of day at which we eat.
Dr. Jakubowicz further explains that “Our body metabolism changes throughout the day. A slice of bread consumed at breakfast leads to a lower glucose response and is less fattening than an identical slice of bread consumed in the evening.”
B-Diet Led to Weight Loss & Reduced Hunger
29 adults were enrolled by the scientists for the study, of whom 11 were female & 18 were male. The subjects on average were 69 years of age and had obesity & type 2 diabetes.
For a total of 3 months, each adult was randomly assigned to two different groups. One group followed the “B-Diet” consisting of 3 meals per day: a heavy breakfast, medium sized lunch & a small evening meal. The other group followed the “6M-Diet” consisting of 6 small meals plus 3 snacks paced throughout the day.
During the study, the blood glucose levels of the subjects were tested every 2 weeks by the researchers, where continuous glucose monitoring was utilized in measuring both spikes in blood glucose & overall glucose levels throughout the study.
The researchers concluded that after 3 months, subjects in the B-Diet group lost an average of 5 Kg, while subjects of group 6M-Diet gained an average of 1.4 Kg.
Further, while hunger & cravings for carbohydrates augmented among subjects in the 6M-Diet group, for subjects in the B-Diet, these reduced significantly.
The Effects on Blood Glucose Levels
The scientists concluded that after 3 months, the fasting glucose levels of subjects in B-Diet group declined from 161 mg/dl to 107 mg/dl, an average of 54 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl); while subjects of 6M-Diet only reduced from 164 mg/dl to 141 mg/dl, an average of 23 mg/dl.
Upon observing the overall mean glucose levels, the team represented that in the first 14 days, these declined by 29 mg/dl, from 167 mg/dl to 138 mg/dl, for subjects of B-Diet, while only 9 mg/dl reduced among the 6M-Diet group, from 171 mg/dl to 162 mg/dl.
For B-Diet group at 3 months, overall mean glucose levels decreased by 38 mg/dl, from 167 mg/dl to 129 mg/dl as opposed to a reduction of 17 mg/dl in the 6M-Diet group from 171 mg/dl to 154 mg/dl.
Mean glucose levels during sleep did not lessen at all for subjects of 6M-Diet, whereas B-Diet group experienced a reduction of 24 mg/dl, from 131 mg/dl to 107 mg/dl at 3 months.
During the study period, subjects who followed the B-Diet required less insulin with a decrease of 20.5 units each day. However, subjects following the 6M-Diet needed more insulin, with an increase of 2.2 units every day.
The Timing of Meals Offers Benefits in Itself
Conspicuously, the study also exposed that participants following the B-Diet experienced a momentous decline in overall blood sugar levels in as little as 14 days, even when the subjects themselves displayed no weight loss.
According to the researchers, the aforementioned finding portrays that timing of meals itself can help with blood glucose management, though weight loss can aid to augment the benefits.
In conclusion, the team displayed that three meals each day, with breakfast being the biggest, may be of great advantage to individuals with obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Jakubowicz, further states, “that, in obese, insulin-treated type 2 diabetes patients, a diet with three meals per day, consisting of a big breakfast, average lunch, and small dinner, had many rapid and positive effects compared to the traditional diet with six small meals evenly distributed throughout the day.”
Positive effects comprised of improved weight loss, less hunger, and healthier control of diabetes while using less insulin.”
“A diet with adequate meal timing and frequency has a pivotal role in glucose control and weight loss.”
Dr. Daniela Jakubowicz