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Skipping Breakfast May Be Better for Diabetics

Update Date: Nov 29, 2013 10:22 AM EST

Eating a single large meal every day may be better for patients with diabetes, according to a new study.

Scientists at the Linköping University in Sweden looked at the effects of the low-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate diet and a Mediterranean diet on 21 patients. Researchers said that all patients tested all three diets in randomized order.

Participants gave blood samples at six time points during each test day. Researchers then analyzed the diets' effect on blood glucose, blood lipids and different hormones after meals. The measures were then compared using three different macronutrient compositions in patients with type 2 diabetes.

"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," Doctor Hans Guldbrand, who together with Professor Fredrik Nystrom was the principal investigator of the study, said in a news release.

"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," added 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," he concluded.

The findings are published in the journal PLoS ONE

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