One week of eating meals earlier in the day could reduce type 2 diabetes risk

Dr Amir lists diabetes symptoms

An endocrinologist at New York University, and her team, wanted to investigate whether fasting could have a positive impact on blood sugar levels.

Prior research found that intermittent fasting might improve cardiometabolic health and blood sugar levels.

Thus, for this study conducted by Dr Joanne Bruno, the team evaluated early time-restricted feeding.

Participants in the study, all of whom had prediabetes and obesity, experienced a week of early time-restricted feeding.

Early time-restricted feeding mostly involves eating in the first eight hours of the day.

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And, in this case, early time-restricted feeding meant 80 percent of their daily calorie intake was eaten before 1pm.

Throughout the experiment, participants wore glucose monitors so that their blood sugar levels could be recorded.

Dr Bruno said: “Eating the majority of one’s calories earlier in the day reduces the time that the blood sugar is elevated, thereby improving metabolic health.

“Our research shows that just one week of following this diet strategy reduces fluctuations in blood sugar levels and reduces the time that the blood sugar is elevated above normal levels.

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“This suggests early time-restricted feeding may be a helpful strategy for those with prediabetes or obesity to keep their blood sugars in a normal range and prevent them from progressing to type 2 diabetes.”

Fellow researcher Dr Jose Aleman, of NYU Grossman School of Medicine, commented on the research findings.

“We decreased the time these individuals were having high blood sugar levels with just one week of eTRF [early time-restricted feeding].

“The findings show that eating a majority of one’s calories earlier in the day reduces the time that the blood sugar is elevated, thereby improving metabolic health.”

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While the results are promising, suggesting that eating earlier in the day could be a “helpful strategy for diabetes prevention”, more studies are needed.

Dr Bruno said further investigations “are needed to understand the true overall benefit of these intervention strategies”.

If you would like support in preventing diabetes, do speak to your local healthcare team.

The findings were presented at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in Chicago.

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