Diabetes patients may experience anxiety and worry due to their fluctuating blood glucose levels, but studies show that prolonged fasting and time-restricted eating improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels, extend ketosis, and stabilize blood sugar control. However, research may have revealed a suitable strategy for diabetic patients to maintain a healthy blood glucose level balance.
In a recent study that was presented at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting, blood glucose fluctuations can be reduced by restricting eating early in the day. In their findings, which have not yet been peer reviewed, the researchers assert that this kind of intermittent fasting can reduce the amount of time that blood glucose levels are elevated.
In a press release, study author and endocrinology fellow at NYU Langone Health, Dr. Joanne Bruno, stated, “Our research shows that just one week of following this diet strategy reduces fluctuations in blood sugar levels and reduces the time that the blood sugar is elevated above normal levels.”
He went on to say that people with prediabetes or obesity may benefit from early time-restricted feeding to keep their blood sugar levels normal and avoid developing type 2 diabetes.
Early time-restricted feeding, as described by Medical News Today, restricts eating to the first six to eight hours of the day.
In order to determine the impact of early time-restricted dieting on blood glucose levels, the researchers designed a study in which they compared a typical diet with early time-restricted dieting.
Ten people with prediabetes or obesity were randomly assigned to the early time-restricted group (80%) or the usual feeding pattern group (50%) They stuck with the diet for seven days before switching to a different strategy. Glucose tolerance tests and continuous glucose monitoring were used by researchers.
The researchers say that the participants’ weight stayed the same for the entire two weeks of the study. The amount of time spent above the normal blood glucose range was reduced when compared to the regular eating pattern and the early time-restricted feeding method.
According to Bruno, “eating most of one’s calories earlier in the day reduces the time that the blood sugar is elevated, which improves metabolic health.”
According to the researchers, additional research is required if early time-restricted feeding could be used as a successful intervention strategy to lower blood glucose levels.
Dr. Pouya Shafipour, a Providence Saint John’s Health Centre family and obesity medicine physician, recommends restricting one’s eating time.
He claims that studies demonstrate that time-restricted eating and prolonged fasting enhance insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels, extending ketosis and stabilizing blood sugar control.
One type of intermittent fasting is early, time-limited feeding. The 5:2 diet is another example, in which two days a week you only consume 500 to 600 calories while eating normally five days a week.
The 16:8 diet is another one, and it requires you to fast for 16 hours and only eat once every 8 hours.
How does restricting eating early help?
Stanford University endocrinologist Dr. Marilyn Tan suggests that consuming the majority of one’s calories in the early morning may provide an opportunity for physical activity after eating.
She is of the opinion that people are more active during the day, which results in a more favorable glucose response. Studies indicate that earlier time windows have metabolic benefits beyond just later in the day. This suggests that the timing of the time restriction is also a significant factor.
Dr. Anne Peters, an endocrinologist at Keck Medicine at USC, is of the opinion that time-restricted eating can be beneficial to cardio-metabolic health, but it should be done under the supervision of a doctor.
Additionally, it is essential to drink non-sugary fluids to avoid dehydration. When people are consistent and choose the best time for themselves, these time-restricted eating strategies are most effective.