Modifiable risk factors for type 2 diabetes include a poor diet, physical inactivity, and
. However, another element that may be significant is the time we eat.
“We know that meal timing plays a key role in regulating circadian rhythms and glucose and lipid control, but few studies have investigated the relationship between meal timing or fasting and type 2 diabetes,” says Anna Palomar-Cros, ISGlobal researcher and first author of the study.
In this study, an ISGlobal team collaborated with an INSERM team in France to evaluate the relationship between meal frequency and time and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in 103,312 individuals (79% women) from the French NutriNet-Santé cohort.
Participants completed online dietary records of everything they ate and drank throughout a 24-hour period on three non-consecutive days, as well as meal timing. The researchers averaged the food data for the first two years of follow-up then evaluated the individuals’ health over the next seven years (on average).
Early Breakfast and Dinner can Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
During the trial, there were 963 new instances of type 2 diabetes. When compared to individuals who ate breakfast before 8 a.m., those who ate breakfast after 9 a.m. had a considerably greater chance of acquiring the condition.
“Biologically, this makes sense, as skipping breakfast is known to affect glucose and lipid control, as well as insulin levels,” explains Palomar-Cros. “This is consistent with two meta-analyses that conclude that skipping breakfast increases the risk of type 2 diabetes,” Palomar-Cros adds.
A late dinner (after 10 p.m.) appeared to raise the risk, although eating more often (about five times a day) was related with a reduced illness incidence. Prolonged fasting, on the other hand, is only advantageous if it is done with an early breakfast (before 8 a.m.) and an early dinner.
What are Ideal Breakfast and Dinner Times?
“Our results suggest that a first meal before 8 a.m. and a last meal before 7 p.m. may help reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes,” concludes Manolis Kogevinas, ISGlobal researcher and co-author of the study. In fact, the same ISGlobal team had previously published data linking an early meal to a decreased risk of breast or prostate cancer (2✔ ✔Trusted Source
Effect of mistimed eating patterns on breast and prostate cancer risk (MCC-Spain Study)
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Chrononutrition and its Relationship with Diabetes
These findings support the use of chrononutrition, which is the relationship between food, circadian rhythms, and health to prevent type 2 diabetes and other chronic illnesses.
According to research in this field, the time of day has an impact on the postprandial glucose response to a meal, and hence has a significant impact on type 2 diabetes.
Cross-sectional and experimental research have indicated that eating meals earlier in the day rather than later in the day has a positive effect on postprandial glycemia. Increasing the protein and fat content of evening meals has been found to be a straightforward method for improving postprandial glycemia.
Low glycemic index (GI) meals ingested in the morning increase glycemic response more than those consumed at night.
When fat and protein (including amino acids) are consumed along with carbohydrate meals like bread and rice, the glycemic response is reduced. The sequence of meal presentations has also been shown to have a significant impact on postprandial blood glucose levels (eating vegetables first, followed by meat, and finally rice).
These practical advice should be viewed as ways to enhance glycemic control, rather than focusing solely on the nutritional value of a meal, in order to optimize diabetics’ dietary patterns (3✔ ✔Trusted Source
Chrononutrition in the management of diabetes
Go to source).
- Associations of meal timing, number of eating occasions and night-time fasting duration with incidence of type 2 diabetes in the NutriNet-Santé cohort – (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37328450/)
- Effect of mistimed eating patterns on breast and prostate cancer risk (MCC-Spain Study) – (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ijc.31649)
- Chrononutrition in the management of diabetes – (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32075959/)
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