British Columbia, Canada—A high-fat, low-carb breakfast (HFLC)—for instance, an omelet—can help those with type 2 diabetes (T2D) control their blood sugar, according to a new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The study, titled “Restricting carbohydrates at breakfast is sufficient to reduce 24-hour exposure to postprandial hyperglycemia and improve glycemic variability,” is by Courtney Chang et al. It notes that breakfast most often results in the largest postprandial hyperglycemic excursion in those with T2D: Oatmeal, fruit, cereal, and toast—traditional breakfast foods—are often high in glucose.
The study was performed on 23 adults with T2D. On one day, the participants consumed a HFLC breakfast; on another, they consumed a breakfast with a more traditional nutrient profile, i.e., 55% of the energy in the meal came from carbohydrates. Lunch and dinner were identical. The participants’ glucose was monitored continuously.
The HFLC breakfast significantly reduced postprandial hyperglycemia after breakfast (p<0.01). The study also noted that pre-meal hunger was lower before dinner with the HFLC breakfast.
In a press release on the topic, Jonathan Little, associate professor at University of British Columbia Okanagan’s School of Health and Exercise Sciences and one of the co-authors of the study, noted that preventing the post-breakfast blood sugar spike lowered overall glucose exposure and improved stability of glucose readings for the next 24 hours. “We expected that limiting carbohydrates would help prevent the spike after this meal,” he said, “But we were a bit surprised that the overall glucose control and stability were improved.”
The press release added that participants noted lower cravings for sweet foods later in the day when they ate the HFLC breakfast.
“The results of our study suggest potential benefits of altering macronutrient distribution throughout the day so that carbohydrates are restricted at breakfast with a balanced lunch and dinner rather than consuming an even distribution and moderate amount of carbohydrates throughout the day,” Little said. He suggested that this dietary change could be a healthy step for anybody, regardless of whether or not they are living with diabetes.