These days many people are following time-restricted eating for weight loss. But did you know that it can also help manage your blood glucose levels and keep your diabetes in control? Yes, that's right! If the findings of a recent study are to be believed, time-restricted eating is beneficial for blood glucose. For the study, a team of researchers analysed the effects of time-restricted eating (TRE) in 15 men for seven days. "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 level of each participant was assessed for all seven days during the study. The researchers found that following TRE improved their glucose level, regardless of when the participants 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.
One of the researchers, Fred Rochler, followed TRE regime himself, wherein he maintained his normal diet but only from 9.30am to 7.30pm over a similar eight-week time period.
"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 (TRE) and blood glucose - What's the connection?
According to Time-restricted eating (TRE), one can enjoy foods that are usually perceived not to be healthy for us; however, if these foods are consumed at the right time of day when our bodies are able to deal with the nutrient load, then it is acceptable. Moreover, if we allow our bodies to have more time fasting each night, our bodies will be able to handle the load in a better way, 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.