Diabetics Benefit From Mediterranean Diet Minus Breakfast
November 29, 2013

Mediterranean Diet Minus Breakfast Best Choice For Diabetics

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

A new study from Linköping University in Sweden reveals that it is better to eat a single large meal if you are diabetic than several smaller meals throughout the day. The findings were published in a recent issue of PLOS ONE.

The researchers compared the effect on blood glucose, blood lipids and different hormones after meals using three different macronutrient compositions in patients with type 2 diabetes. The participants ate either a low-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate diet or a Mediterranean diet. All 21 test subjects tested all three diets in a randomized order. Blood samples were collected at six set times each day.

With approximately 55 percent of the total energy from carbohydrates, the low-fat diet had a nutrient composition traditionally recommended in the Nordic countries. In contrast, the low-carbohydrate diet had approximately 20 percent total energy from carbohydrate and 50 percent from fat. Finally, the Mediterranean diet included only a cup of black coffee for breakfast, and with all the caloric content corresponding to breakfast and lunch during the other two test days in one large lunch.

The Mediterranean diet also included energy from approximately 5 ounces (women) to 7 ounces (men) of French red wine with lunch. The carbohydrate energy content of the Mediterranean diet was at an intermediate level between the low-fat and low-carbohydrate meals, with the sources of fat coming mainly from olives and fatty fish.

“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,” says Doctor Hans Guldbrand, who collaborated with Professor Fredrik Nystrom.

“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,” says Professor 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,” says Professor Nystrom.