A study conducted by scientists at Maastricht University has revealed that time-restricted eating—limiting food intake to a 10-hour window during the day—can significantly benefit metabolic health in people with type 2 diabetes.
The study is published in Diabetologia and led by Prof. Patrick Schrauwen and his team.
Our current 24/7 society is replete with constant access to food and disrupted sleep patterns, contributing to the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Many in Western nations also consume food over a minimum of 14 hours each day, thus negating any real nocturnal fasting state.
Time-restricted eating is emerging as a new strategy to improve metabolic health by imposing a fasting period during the night.
The study involved 14 individuals aged between 50 and 75, who had type 2 diabetes and a body mass index (BMI) of at least 25 kg/m².
Participants followed two different 3-week dietary regimens: one involving time-restricted eating and the other as a control diet.
The time-restricted eating period allowed participants to eat their usual diet but within a 10-hour window and to finish their eating by 6:00 PM.
Beverages allowed outside this window were water, plain tea, black coffee, and zero-calorie soft drinks in moderation.
Lower 24-hour Blood Sugar Levels: Time-restricted eating led to lower blood sugar levels throughout the day, primarily due to reduced night-time blood sugar.
Improved Morning Fasting Blood Sugar: The morning fasting blood sugar was consistently lower in the time-restricted eating group compared to the control group, likely due to improved night-time glucose control.
Safety and Efficacy: The time-restricted regimen didn’t significantly increase low blood sugar levels, and no severe adverse effects were reported, confirming that this approach is both safe and effective for managing type 2 diabetes.
The study suggests that a daytime 10-hour time-restricted eating regimen can reduce blood sugar levels and prolong the duration of time spent in the normal blood sugar range.
This makes it a safe and potentially effective lifestyle intervention for adults with type 2 diabetes.
This research adds to the growing body of evidence supporting the benefits of time-restricted eating and could pave the way for new dietary guidelines for diabetes management.
Further studies could investigate the long-term effects and potential for broader application in different demographic groups.
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