Most of us strive for a long and healthy life and new research highlights the need to pay attention to meal timings starting from an early age.
It is well known that the type of food we consume has a pronounced effect on managing healthy blood sugar levels, but did you know the time of the day you consume your meals also effects your blood sugar levels?
There is an interesting metabolic benefit from eating the largest meal at breakfast followed by smaller meals for lunch and dinner as it helps promote weight loss and lower blood sugar levels. However, the benefits are optimized if low glycemic index foods are consumed for breakfast, helping to control and not aggravate the natural tendency for blood sugar levels to spike in the mornings.
A study showed that obese insulin dependent type 2 diabetic patients given a diet consisting of a larger calorie breakfast followed by an average size lunch and smaller dinner showed many positive benefits including improved weight, satiety and blood glucose control while using less insulin compared to the control group consuming 6 small meals evenly distributed throughout the day. Both groups consumed the same number of daily calories. This study highlights that the time of the day you eat and how frequently you eat is even more important than what you eat, and the total number of calories consumed. Our metabolic rate varies during the day and is naturally highest in the morning meaning a slice of bread eaten at breakfast has a lower blood glucose response and was less fattening than an identical slice of bread eaten in the evening. (1)
Eating in a chaotic pattern or irregularly effects the normal biological clock which in turn effects circadian rhythms which disrupts metabolism and can increase the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type-2 diabetes. Our metabolism is most active in the mornings, so it makes sense to have a bigger breakfast to match those circadian rhythms.
In addition, eating meals, the same time everyday supports keeping your blood sugar stable and helps prevent dips and spikes. Routine meals help to regulate the biological clock.
To keep energy steady throughout the daytime, make sure your largest meal is a wholesome low GI breakfast, followed by a smaller lunch and dinner and fast at night for a minimum of 10 to 12 hours.
The old saying “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper” is surprisingly accurate after all!
- The Endocrine Society. “High-energy breakfast promotes weight loss: Diet helps reduce total daily insulin dose for type 2 diabetes.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2018. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180318144831.htm