Eating just two large meals instead of six small meals helps in controlling weight and sugar levels in diabetic patients, according to a study.
- with type-2 diabetes have limited food options and are at a risk of excessive weight increase. Researchers from the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague, Czech Republic, found consumption of two meals like a heavy breakfast and lunch helps in managing blood sugar better as compared to having several short meals of same caloric content.
Their study involved 29 men and 25 women aged between 30 and 70 years with BMIs ranging from 27 to 50 Kilograms per meter square. The participants were divided in two groups - a group that ate six meals of smaller proportions having less than 500 calories and the rest daily had heavy breakfast and lunch for 12 weeks. The diet regimes were again interchanged in both groups after 12 weeks. The overall macronutrient and calorie content were same in food given to all participants.
Experts recorded the subjects' liver fat content, insulin sensitivity and insulin production using several analysis techniques.
It was observed all participants reported having significant weight loss. But individuals who ate two large meals experienced more weight reduction than those who ate small meals. The liver fat content, fasting glucose and C-peptide levels decreased in all subjects, but was more for people who daily had just two heavy meals. This group also recorded having increased oral glucose insulin sensitivity.
"Eating only breakfast and lunch reduced body weight, liver fat content, fasting plasma glucose, C-peptide and glucagon, and increased OGIS, more than the same caloric restriction split into six meals. These results suggest that, for type 2 diabetic patients on a calorie-restricted diet, eating larger breakfasts and lunches may be more beneficial than six smaller meals during the day," researcher said in a press release.
The study suggests besides macronutrient content and energy, the frequency and timing of meals have a large impact on the sugar levels of diabetic people. They believe further investigation is needed before devising ideal meal frequency and diet pattern for individuals suffering from type-2 diabetes
More information is available online in the journal Diabetologia.