Eating only during the day helps fight type 2 diabetes

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Experts say limiting our diet to daylight hours can help with type 2 diabetes. Basak Gurbuz Derman/Getty Images
  • Researchers say limiting eating to a 10-hour window during the day may help people with type 2 diabetes.
  • They said this diet respects the body’s natural rhythms and can help lower blood sugar.
  • Experts say the plan is beneficial for most people with type 2 diabetes, but people with eating disorders, pregnant women, people with type 1 diabetes and children should see a doctor before adopting it.
  • They add that people should choose a diet that they can manage for a long time.

Restricting eating to a 10-hour window during the day could have health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes.

It depends to research published today which reports that a time-restricted eating protocol (TRE) may lead to improvements in metabolic health in adults with type 2 diabetes, including a decrease in 24-hour glucose levels.

“A 10-hour TRE diet for three weeks decreases glucose levels and prolongs the time spent in the normal blood glucose range in adults with type 2 diabetes compared to spreading daily food intake over at least 14 hours. These data highlight the potential benefit of TRE in type 2 diabetes,” the study authors wrote.

Previous research has indicated that time-restricted eating can have positive metabolic effects in obese or overweight people. Researchers said limiting eating to a window of less than 12 hours can lower blood sugar, improve insulin sensitivity and increase fat burning.

The authors of the new study note that in many Western countries, food is available 24 hours a day and a tendency to spread meals out over a long period of time can be problematic.

“In Western society, most people tend to spread their daily food intake over a minimum of 14 hours, which probably results in the absence of a true nocturnal fasting state. Restricting food intake to a predefined time window (usually less than 12 hours)…restores the cycle of daytime eating and prolonged fasting in the evening and at night,” the study authors wrote.

Dana HunnesPhD, MPH, senior clinical dietitian at the University of California Los Angeles Medical Center and assistant professor at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, says eating irregularly can put stress on the body.

“Our body has a circadian rhythm. As the Earth has a daily rhythm, so do our bodies. If we don’t align our eating habits with the best/healthiest rhythms, it can increase our risk for chronic disease and inflammation,” Hunnes told Healthline.

“When we have food available 24/7, much of which is highly processed, it is stressful on our bodies and does not follow the healthy circadian rhythms/homeostasis our bodies like to be in,” she added. “So when we eat out of rhythm, it’s very stressful and decreases cardiometabolic health, and can affect our hormonal response (including insulin) and worsen health outcomes, especially for people with diabetes from type 2.”

Following a time-restricted eating protocol can counteract this negative impact of eating throughout the day by limiting the timing of food intake and extending the fasting period into the evening and night.

Dr. Marilyn Tanclinical associate professor of medicine in endocrinology, gerontology, and metabolism at Stanford University in California, says a time-restricted eating protocol is beneficial for many people with type 2 diabetes. However, people People with type 2 diabetes who take insulin should first consult their doctor.

“For patients taking diabetes medications that don’t carry a risk of hypoglycemia, it’s good practice to do intermittent fasting,” Tan told Healthline. “However, if a patient is taking insulin, long-acting insulin or insulin with meals, or both, it is important to discuss this with your doctor because, for example, when you are not don’t usually eat, we don’t want you to take mealtime insulin Or if you potentially don’t eat, you may need less long-acting insulin.

As a rule, when a person does not eat, the body uses glycogen to feed.

Glycogen is a form of carbohydrate stored in the liver and also stored in the muscles. When the body uses glycogen, it then switches to free fatty acids as the next form of fuel.

This in turn produces ketones, which can reduce inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, and ultimately improve glucose levels.

“The goal of intermittent fasting for people with diabetes is to fuel the body’s energy by burning fat stores and losing extra weight, improving insulin sensitivity, and lowering blood sugar levels. blood sugar. Study results are consistent with the goals of intermittent fasting,” Lauri Wright, PhD, RDN, chair of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of North Florida, told Healthline.

“In most cases, intermittent fasting is safe. It is not suitable for people with type I diabetes, a history of eating disorders, pregnant women or children under 18,” she noted.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise that when it comes to dieting, it’s important to find a plan that can be followed for life.

A plan that focuses on healthy eating and is also sustainable is a good place to start.

The CDC has 12 tips for a healthy diet. They include anticipating times of the day when it might be tempting to snack, such as after a hard day’s work.

Tan says her clients have found time-restricted eating to be one of the easiest diets to follow, especially for those who are busy.

“A lot of my patients find it’s actually one of the most sustainable diets because you’re not so focused on the food content per se, as on the moment,” she said. Explain. “And actually, for busy people, time-restricted eating works best…you don’t have to worry about your meals throughout the day. If you have this limited window to eat, many patients find it much simpler and much more sustainable compared to many very specific diets.

“You don’t have to focus so much on the breakdown of macronutrients in the diet,” Tan added. “While with some diets, such as a ketogenic diet, it can be very effective in the short term to lose a lot of weight, it is very difficult to maintain this type of diet in the long term. Whereas with a limited diet in the time, you’re just changing when you eat.I don’t see any major concerns for long-term safety…as long as you discuss the timing and dosage of your medications with your provider before embarking on a diet.


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