Research by scientists at the University of British Columbia (UBC) suggests that people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) may benefit from a breakfast that is high in fat and low in carbohydrates. The diet may help their bodies maintain control of blood sugar throughout the day. The findings have been reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
"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," said Associate Professor Jonathan Little of UBC Okanagan's School of Health and Exercise Sciences.
He said that breakfast is a consistently problematic meal; it causes the biggest sugar spike in type 2 diabetics. The best way to prevent that spike, his research indicates, is by consuming a high-fat, low-carb meal in the morning. In his study, scientists found that the effect improved glucose stability for 24 hours. Participants also reported feeling fewer cravings for sweet stuff later on in the day.
"We expected that limiting carbohydrates to less than ten percent at breakfast would help prevent the spike after this meal," he said. "But we were a bit surprised that this had enough of an effect and that the overall glucose control and stability were improved. We know that large swings in blood sugar are damaging to our blood vessels, eyes, and kidneys. The inclusion of a very low-carbohydrate high-fat breakfast meal in T2D patients may be a practical and easy way to target the large morning glucose spike and reduce associated complications."