Could Two Large Meals Help Better Manage Type 2 Diabetes than Six Snacks?

First Posted: May 16, 2014 11:55 AM EDT

For patients dealing with type 2 diabetes, finding the right nutritional balance can be a struggle. Health experts typically recommend that those suffering from the health issue have six small meals a day. Yet a recent study conducted by researchers from the Czech Republic suggests that having two larger meals may provide a better approach to combat the problem.

Study results contradict the belief that breaking meals into several smaller ones throughout the day can help to keep blood sugar levels under control.

For the study, researchers selected 54 patients between the ages of 30 and 70. Participants were initially divided into two equal groups, and followed a diet that either consisted of six smaller meals or two larger ones, both containing around 1,700 calories. Three months later, the groups switched their diet regimens.

The results revealed that participants had better weight loss and lowered blood sugar levels on the two-meal diet than the other.

"Eating only breakfast and lunch reduced body weight, liver fat content, fasting plasma glucose, C-peptide and glucagon, and increased OGIS, more than the same caloric restriction split into six meals," said researchers Dr Hana Kahleová and colleagues from the Diabetes Centre, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague in Czech Republic, via a press release.

These results suggest that, for type 2 diabetic patients on a calorie-restricted diet, eating larger breakfasts and lunches may be more beneficial than six smaller meals during the day.

More information regarding the findings can be seen via the journal Diabetologia.

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