A low-carb breakfast could control blood sugar in people with diabetes

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Scientists from the University of British Columbia found that eating a low-carb breakfast could help control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.

Every time people finish a meal, there is an exaggerated rise in blood sugar following the meal.

In people who don’t have diabetes, the pancreas secretes some insulin all the time. It increases its output as blood glucose rises after meals.

Previous research found that the breakfast meal often leads to the largest blood sugar increase after meals in people with type 2 diabetes.

In the study, the team aimed to examine whether reducing carb intake at breakfast would be a simple and feasible way to reduce daily blood sugar surges after meals.

The researchers tested 23 adults with type 2 diabetes.

These people ate the two following breakfasts in random orders: A very-low-carb high-fat breakfast (<10% of energy from carbohydrates, 85% of energy from fat, 15% of energy from protein). This breakfast contained eggs.

Or another breakfast with dietary guidelines–recommended nutrients (55% of energy from carbohydrates, 30% of energy from fat, 15% of energy from protein).

People in the two groups ate the same lunch and dinner.

The team did continuous glucose monitoring to assess after-meal blood sugar change over 24 hours and examined the ratings of hunger and fullness in the participants.

The researchers found that the low-carb breakfast strongly reduced blood sugar surge after breakfast and did not harm blood sugar levels after lunch or dinner.

As such, overall after-meal blood sugar levels and blood sugar change were reduced with the low-carb breakfast compared with the guideline-recommended breakfast.

In addition, participants’ hunger rating was lower before dinner with the low-carb breakfast than with the guideline-recommended breakfast.

The team concluded that a very-low-carb, high-fat breakfast including eggs could lower blood sugar surge after meals.

This simple strategy appears to be effective to lower overall after-meal blood sugar levels and improve blood sugar stability in people with type 2 diabetes.

One limitation of the study is that the studies only tested the effects of breakfast in two 24-hour periods, and thus the benefits from the low-carb breakfast were short-term.

Future work needs to examine the long-term benefit of a low-carb breakfast to blood sugar control.

The research is published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and was conducted by Jonathan P Little et al.

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