Changing what you eat for breakfast could be the simplest way to better manage blood sugar levels for those living with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), according to a recent study led by researchers at UBC Okanagan.
The team, headed by Dr. Barbara Oliveira and Dr. Jonathan Little, carried out a 12-week study involving 121 participants with T2D.
The participants were divided into two groups: one ate a low-carb, high-protein, high-fat breakfast, and the other had a traditional western-style, low-fat, higher-carb breakfast. Both breakfast options provided 450 calories.
To monitor blood sugar levels, participants were equipped with a continuous glucose monitoring device. They also underwent A1C blood tests before and after the study, and their weight and waist circumference were measured.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that:
Blood Sugar Control: Those who ate the low-carb breakfast experienced lower blood sugar levels throughout the day.
Medication Reduction: Some in the low-carb group were able to reduce their glucose-lowering medication.
Glycemic Variability: The low-carb group experienced significantly less fluctuation in blood sugar levels throughout the day.
Satiety and Subsequent Meals: Participants who ate a low-carb breakfast also reported lower calorie and carbohydrate consumption for the rest of the day.
Dr. Oliveira emphasized that this simple meal switch could be a game-changer, especially for those who find it challenging to stick to a low-carb diet all day.
She explained that “one of many complications for people living with T2D is rapid or large increases in blood glucose levels after a meal.
Our research indicates a low-carbohydrate meal, first thing in the morning, seems to help control blood sugar throughout the day.”
Controlling glucose levels is crucial for reducing complications related to T2D, including inflammation and cardiovascular disease.
The study suggests that even if someone with T2D can’t commit to a full low-carb diet, making a single meal low-carb can still offer substantial benefits.
This study opens up new avenues for personalized dietary strategies in the management of T2D, focusing on practical and attainable changes that people can make in their daily lives.
As always, it’s essential to consult with healthcare providers for personalized medical advice.
The study was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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