Wednesday, December 18, 2013

℞ for Diabetics: Mediterranean Diet without Breakfast

For diabetics, it is better to eat a single large Mediterranean meal than several smaller meals throughout the day, and skip the breakfast, say researchers at Linköping University in Sweden.
Studying the effects of three different diets on blood glucose, blood lipids and hormones the scientists compared three different macronutrient compositions in patients with type 2 diabetes following their meals. The three diets were a low-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate diet and a Mediterranean diet. Twenty-one patients were tested on all three diets in a randomized order. During each test day blood samples were collected at six time points.

The low-fat diet had a nutrient composition that has traditionally been recommended in the Nordic countries, with about 55% of the total energy from carbohydrates.

The low-carbohydrate diet had a relatively low content of carbohydrate; approximately 20% of the energy was from carbohydrates and about 50% of the total energy came from fat.

The Mediterranean diet was composed of only a cup of black coffee for breakfast, and with all the caloric content corresponding to breakfast and lunch during the other two test days accumulated to one large lunch.

"We found that the low-carbohydrate diet increased blood glucose levels much less than the low-fat diet but that levels of triglycerides tended to be high compared to the low-fat diet," said Dr. Hans Guldbrand, principal investigator of the study along with Prof. Fredrik Nystrom.

"It is very interesting that the Mediterranean diet, without breakfast and with a massive lunch with wine, did not induce higher blood glucose levels than the low-fat diet lunch, despite such a large single meal," noted Professor Nyström.

This suggests that it is favorable to have a large meal instead of several smaller meals when you have diabetes, and it is surprising how often one today refers to the usefulness of the so-called Mediterranean diet but forgets that it also traditionally meant the absence of a breakfast. Our results give reason to reconsider both nutritional composition and meal arrangements for patients with diabetes."

Source: Linköping University 

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Artwork: Lunch of the Boating Party by Pierre-Auguste Renoir