Scientists from the University of Adelaide found that time-restricted eating could help lower blood sugar in men with higher risks of type 2 diabetes.
Time-restricted eating is a form of daily fasting wherein the time of the day during which a person eats is limited or compressed.
People who practice time-restricted eating typically eat during an 8- to 12-hour daytime window and fast during the remaining 12 to 16 hours.
In both animal studies and human trials, time-restricted eating has shown health benefits, including weight loss, reduced fat mass, improved heart function, and enhanced aerobic capacity, without altering diet quality or quantity.
In the study, researchers aimed to examine the effects of 9-hour time-restricted eating, early or delayed, on glucose tolerance in men at risk for type 2 diabetes.
The glucose tolerance test, also known as the oral glucose tolerance test, measures the body’s response to sugar (glucose). The glucose tolerance test can be used to screen for type 2 diabetes.
The team tested 15 middle-aged men who wore a continuous glucose monitor for 7 days before the study and for two 7-day time-restricted eating periods.
Participants were asked to eat their meals with early time-restricted eating (8 am to 5 pm) or late time-restricted eating (12 pm to 9 pm).
The researchers found that time-restricted eating improved glucose tolerance.
There was no effect of time-restricted eating on fasting and after-meal insulin or gut hormones.
The blood sugar levels tested by continuous glucose monitor were lower in early time-restricted eating but not late time-restricted eating.
The team says while only early time-restricted eating lowered general blood sugar in men with high risks of type 2 diabetes, time-restricted eating improved blood sugar levels after eating a meal, regardless of the clock time that time-restricted eating was done.
The research is published in Obesity and was conducted by Amy T Hutchison et al.
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