Breakfast is key for diabetics

By Nicholas Robinson

- Last updated on GMT

High-protein breakfast key for people with Type 2 diabetes
High-protein breakfast key for people with Type 2 diabetes

Related tags Blood glucose levels Diabetes mellitus

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for people with type 2 diabetes, an international study has claimed.

By consuming a high energy breakfast and a low energy evening meal, type 2 diabetes sufferers had better blood sugar control, according to the study published in Diabetologia –​ the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

Eight men and 10 women aged between 30 and 70 were split into two groups and given two different diets – a D diet and a B diet – for one week.

Same total energy

Those on the B diet consumed a 2,946 kilojoule (kj) breakfast, 2,523kj lunch and a 858kj dinner, while subjects on the D diet consumed the same total energy, but swapped their breakfast energy input for their dinner energy input.

Post-meal glucose levels were 20% lower and insulin, c-peptide and glucagon-like peptide 1 levels were 20% higher in participants on the B diet, the study showed.

Lunch on the B diet resulted in lower blood glucose, despite both diets containing the same energy input.

“Observations suggest that a change in meal timing influences the overall daily rhythm of post-meal insulin and incretin ​[metabolic hormones that stimulate a decrease in blood glucose levels] and results in a substantial reduction in the daily post-meal glucose levels,” ​Professor Oren Froy of the Hebrew university of Jerusalem and a report author said.

Crucial factor

A person’s meal timing could be a crucial factor in the improvement of glucose balance and prevent complications in type 2 diabetes, he added.

It was also possible that the findings could be used to prevent cardiovascular and other type 2 diabetes-related complications, Professor Daniela Jakubowicz from the Wolfson Medical Centre at Tel Aviv University, said.

More than 700 Britons are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes​ – which can be obesity-related – each day, according to a study by Diabetes UK and Tesco released last year.

At the time, Barbara Young, ceo of Diabetes UK, said: “It is deeply worrying that more than 700 people a day are being diagnosed with diabetes and this clearly shows the frightening scale of what is fast becoming a national health emergency.”

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