Eating Early Breakfast Can Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Groundbreaking Study Reveals
Don't underestimate the power of an early morning breakfast, it might just be the key to lowering your risk of Type 2 diabetes. A ground-breaking study has uncovered the significant role that the timing of our meals plays in managing health, adding an intriguing twist to the popular belief that breakfast is the most important meal of the day...
A Race Against The Clock
Researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), in collaboration with the Inserm Institute in France, followed more than 100,000 French-based participants over an average of seven years. The results of the study, published recently, indicate that eating breakfast after 9 am increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by a staggering 59%, compared to those who eat before 8 am.
It's not just about 'what' we eat, but 'when' we eat it, the study strongly suggests.
"Our results show that we can reduce the risk of diabetes not only by changing what we eat, but also when we eat it," stated Anna Palomar-Cros, the ISGlobal researcher and lead author of the study. "Biologically, this makes sense, as skipping breakfast is known to affect glucose and lipid control, as well as insulin levels," she added.
The Evidence is Clear
The study, which followed 103,312 adults, 79 per cent of which were women, from the French NutriNet-Santé cohort, tracked the subjects' dietary habits and patterns. Over the duration of the study, 963 new cases of type 2 diabetes were recorded among the participants.
"Eating breakfast can help people with diabetes more effectively keep their blood glucose balanced and prevent high blood glucose levels," explained Elizabeth Hanna, the American Diabetes Association’s director of nutrition. Her sentiments are echoed by other diabetes experts, underscoring the importance of the timing of breakfast in relation to overall health and wellbeing.
Besides the timing of breakfast, the research also highlighted other dietary patterns that can impact the risk of type 2 diabetes. Eating a late dinner, specifically after 10 pm, seemed to increase type 2 diabetes risk, while frequent meals, around five times a day, were associated with a lower disease incidence.
Prolonged fasting, contrary to popular opinion, was found to be beneficial only if accompanied by an early breakfast before 8 am and an early dinner.
An Easy Change For a Healthier Future
The study's primary focus was on the timing of breakfast and its impact on type 2 diabetes risk, it also illuminated the roles of dinner timing and meal frequency in disease incidence. The research found that eating dinner late, specifically after 10 pm, increased the risk, whereas consuming meals more frequently, around five times a day, was associated with a reduced risk. These crucial findings, although introduced rather abruptly in the original discussion, are deserving of a more detailed exploration to emphasise their importance.
This ground-breaking research not only adds a new dimension to our understanding of diabetes management but also encourages us to rethink our meal timings and frequency for our overall well-being. While this is a significant stride in our battle against type 2 diabetes, it's also crucial to note that maintaining a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and healthy lifestyle habits continue to be fundamental in diabetes prevention and management.
Like all research, this study is not without its limitations, and more research is required to validate these findings across different populations and lifestyles. However, the take-home message is clear: 'When' we eat is just as crucial as 'what' we eat, and simple adjustments in our meal timings could potentially have profound impacts on our health
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Does skipping breakfast increase the risk of type 2 diabetes?
According to this study and two meta-analyses, skipping breakfast can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as it affects glucose and lipid control, as well as insulin levels.
2. What time should I eat breakfast to reduce my risk of type 2 diabetes?
The study suggests that having breakfast before 8 am can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
3. Is it unhealthy to eat dinner late at night?
The research found that eating dinner after 10 pm increased the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Therefore, it may be beneficial for your health to have dinner earlier.
4. How many times a day should I eat?
According to the study, eating more frequently, around five times a day, was associated with a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes.
5. Is fasting good for type 2 diabetes?
Prolonged fasting was found to be beneficial only if accompanied by an early breakfast (before 8 am) and an early dinner.
This article is for general information only and is not intended to treat or diagnose medical conditions. If in doubt please check with your GP first.
 Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal). (2023). Early breakfast linked to lower Type 2 diabetes risk.
 American Diabetes Association. (2019). Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes—2019 Abridged for Primary Care Providers. Clinical diabetes: a publication of the American Diabetes Association.
 Department of General Surgery at Gazi University. (2017). Meal timing, circadian rhythms and chronic diseases.
 American Diabetes Association. (2018). Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2017. Diabetes care.
 Inserm Institute in France. (2023). Eating At This Time Of Day Can Help Lower Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes.
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