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Eating breakfast boasts benefits, again.

It is easy to get caught up in all the fasting advice available for weight loss and T2D management going around these days, and I must admit ,that I too, recommend fasting to a certain subgroup of my patients. However, it is nice to see some support for the old saying 'breakfast is the most important meal of your day'.

Published in the Journal 'Nutrients' May 2021, Jakubowicz and her colleagues looked at those who ate Vs skipped breakfast and found:

  • Skipping breakfast versus eating a high energy/high carbohydrate breakfast influences the expression of clock genes and the rise in blood glucose after subsequent meals, meaning that, on a single day, if you skip breakfast, the rise in blood glucose level is higher after lunch and dinner than if you eat a big, carbohydrate rich breakfast.

  • In people with metabolic syndrome, eating a high energy, high carbohydrate breakfast led to a 2-5 fold increase in weight loss over 12 weeks, compared to a high energy high carbohydrate dinner. The post-meal blood glucose response was lower after the big breakfast than the big dinner meal and the overall post-meal glucose levels after meals was significantly lower in the big breakfast compared to the big dinner group.

  • In people with type 2 diabetes, eating a larger breakfast versus a larger dinner led to significantly lower overall post-meal glucose levels and glucose excursions (the rise in glucose after eating) across the day.

  • In people with type 2 diabetes, compared to a diet of six small meals with energy and carbohydrate spaced across the day, eating three meals with a high energy high carb breakfast and low energy lower carb dinner led to a greater reduction in HbA1c, weight loss, fasting glucose levels and glucose excursions measured using continuous glucose monitoring over 12 weeks.

In each of these studies, the total energy content and composition of the meals and diets was the same in both study groups.

These findings suggest that, independent of what you eat, the timing of your meals may play an important role in blood glucose management, particularly post-meal glucose levels. Our metabolism is best suited to eating in the morning and to fasting and sleeping in the evening. So, the old proverb to “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper” may well be true.

Summary (Credit Dr Kate Marsh 'WHY YOU SHOULD BREAKFAST LIKE A KING' from January GI news)

Copy of journal paper can be found here


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