According to the findings of a recent study, time-restricted eating can turn out to be beneficial for blood glucose.
As part of the study, a team of researchers assessed the effects of time-restricted eating (TRE) in 15 men for one week.
“The men, who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, limited their food intake to a nine-hour period per day,” said Leonie Heilbronn, lead author of the study.
The blood glucose response to a standard meal was assessed each day of the study. The investigators found that TRE improved glucose control, regardless of when the men chose to stop eating.
“Our results suggest that modulating when, rather than what, we eat can improve glucose control. We did see a tiny amount of weight loss in this study, which may have contributed to the results,” Heilbronn explained.
Fred Rochler, who has been participating in a follow-up study, undertook a TRE regime in which he ate his normal diet only from 9.30am to 7.30pm over a similar eight-week trial.
“The restricted eating regime was initially challenging, but soon became more manageable,” Rochler said.
“I only ate up until 7.30pm as I found this worked well with my lifestyle. Over the trial, I found that my fasting blood glucose tolerance improved significantly. It changed from ‘increased risk’ level to ‘normal’. This was without changing any of the foods that I like to eat,” Rochler asserted.
“Time-restricted eating regimes demonstrate that we can enjoy foods that are perceived to be ‘bad’ for us if we eat them at the right time of day when our bodies are more biologically able to deal with the nutrient load. And perhaps more importantly, if we allow our bodies to have more time fasting each night,” Heilbronn explained.
“While these early results show some promise for controlling blood glucose, a larger study over a longer duration is required to fully investigate the effectiveness of this pattern of time-restricted eating,” she said.
From 2000 to 2015 there were 306,201 new cases of insulin-treated type 2 diabetes in Australia: on average 19,000 new cases each year.
The incidence of insulin-treated type 2 diabetes was between 1.2 to 1.5 times as high for men than women during this time. Incidence rates for insulin-treated type 2 diabetes were twice as high among those in the lowest socioeconomic group compared with those in the highest group.