Earlier breakfast can reduce Type 2 diabetes risk

Earlier breakfast can reduce Type 2 diabetes risk

For those at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, a small change in breakfast time can make a big difference.

Eating breakfast after 8 a.m. heightens the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 59% compared with eating before 8 a.m. That’s the main finding from researchers at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, who studied the eating habits and diabetes risk of more than 100,000 people in France.

Participants in the study completed online food diaries for three non-consecutive days, noting what and when they ate. The dietary data were then averaged for a two-year period and participants’ health was tracked for about seven years.

There were 964 new cases of Type 2 diabetes during the study. But the big news was how breakfast time influenced development of the disease. Researchers found that the risk of disease development was “significantly higher” among those who had later breakfast times. The recent findings follow  two other studies that found a heightened risk of Type 2 diabetes among those who skip breakfast altogether. Skipping breakfast is known to negatively affect blood-sugar and insulin levels.

The researchers’ findings also have implications beyond the breakfast table. Those who ate dinner after 9 p.m. were at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than those who had earlier evening meals. Among people who did prolonged fasting, the greatest benefits came from having breakfast before 8 a.m. and then an early dinner.

Overall, the researchers identified this sweet spot to reduce Type 2 diabetes risk: Breakfast before 8 a.m. and dinner before 7 p.m.

It’s not just about what you eat, but when you eat it.

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