Cutting out carbohydrates in breakfast could significantly reduce blood sugar levels among type 2 diabetes patients, according to the outcomes of a self-management program.
Jonathan Little, an associate professor at the School of Health and Exercise Sciences at the University of British Columbia, has been investigating the effects of low-carb, high-fat diets. He found that eating foods with low carbohydrate content could improve glucose levels for the next 24 hours.
Results of the study were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
For the study, 23 people with type 2 diabetes participated in a two-day meal trial. They had an omelet for breakfast on the first day and then oatmeal and fruit on the second day. They had identical lunch and dinner on both days.
The participants underwent continuous glucose monitoring. Spikes on their blood sugar levels were observed throughout the day. The researchers also asked the group to report incidents when they feel the need to satisfy their hunger.
"The large blood sugar spike that follows breakfast is due to the combination of pronounced insulin resistance in the morning in people with T2D and because typical Western breakfast foods — cereal, oatmeal, toast and fruit — are high in carbohydrates," Little said.
The researchers said that a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet is the most practical way of controlling glucose spikes before the day starts. They also found that blood glucose levels remained stable throughout the day if carbohydrates were restricted during breakfast together with balanced lunch and dinner.
The Link To Type 2 Diabetes
Carbohydrates are directly linked to developing type 2 diabetes, according to a report by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Once carbohydrates are broken down into sugar, it enters the bloodstream.
The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin to allow the absorption of this sugar for energy or storage. Excess supply of blood glucose happens when the body cannot metabolize carbohydrates, cannot make enough insulin, or unable to properly utilize the insulin it makes.
"Type 2 diabetes usually develops gradually over a number of years, beginning when muscle and other cells stop responding to insulin," the public information report stated. "This condition, known as insulin resistance, causes blood sugar and insulin levels to stay high long after eating."
As excess sugar piles up, the body struggles to produce insulin. Eventually, insulin production stops, making it difficult to control blood sugar levels.