People with type 2 diabetes may benefit more from eating a large low calorie breakfast rich in protein and fat instead of a low-calorie morning meal, new research suggests.
Hadas Rabinovitz, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Rehovot, Israel, and colleagues assessed blood glucose control and hormone profile in 59 adults with type 2 diabetes who were randomly assigned to either a big or small balanced breakfast group.
The big breakfast contained one third of the daily calories that the diabetic patients would have, with a higher percentage of protein and fat, while the small breakfast contained only 12.5 percent of their total daily energy intake.
After 13 weeks, significantly larger reductions in blood glucose levels and systolic blood pressure were reported among those in the big breakfast group, as well as greater improvements in fasting glucose and reductions in hunger levels during the day.
The researchers also found that one third of the big breakfast eaters were able to reduce their dependency on diabetes drugs, whereas 17% of the small breakfast group had to increase the amount of medication needed during the trial.
Dr. Rabinovitz said in a press release: “As the study progressed, we found that hunger scores increased significantly in the small breakfast group while satiety scores increased in the big breakfast group. In addition, the big breakfast group reported a reduced urge to eat and a less preoccupation with food, while the small breakfast group had increased preoccupation with food and a greater urge to eat over time.
“A simple dietary manipulation of [a] big breakfast diet rich in protein and fat appears to have additional benefits compared to a conventional low calorie diet in individuals with type 2 diabetes,” Rabinovitz and colleagues concluded.
The findings were presented last week at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Barcelona.

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