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If You’re Diabetic, Then Don’t Miss Your Breakfast

Fast life, late night parties and too much pressure of work life are some of the reasons most individuals these days either don’t have time to eat breakfast or they simply don’t eat breakfast because they think skipping meals might make them slimmer.

A new study has now shown that missing breakfast has harmful effects on those suffering from diabetes – something that wasn’t known until now.


Photo Credit: jules

Researchers from Tel Aviv University, Israel disclosed that not eating until noon provokes significant increase in blood sugar levels (postprandial hyperglycemia) and damages the insulin reciprocation of type-2 diabetes right through the entire day.

For the study, the research team performed an experiment on 22 patients with type-2 diabetes with an average age of 59.6 years old, and a mean Body Mass Index (BMI) of 28.2 kg/m2. Over the next 48 hours, the diabetics ate similar number of calories and the similar balanced meal – tuna, bread, milk, and a chocolate breakfast bar – for lunch as well as dinner. The only distinction was that while one day they had breakfast the other day they skipped it and fasted until noon.

The study discovered that participants underwent unexpected glucose elevations of 268 mg/dl post lunch and 298 mg/dl post dinner on days; they didn’t eat breakfast against 192 mg/dl, and 215 mg/dl, post lunch and dinner, respectively, on days they consumed the similar lunch and dinner after eating breakfast.

Daniela Jakubowicz, a professor of Tel Aviv said that the team conjectured that the elimination of breakfast would be unhealthy, but it was a surprise for them to notice such a “high degree of deterioration of glucose metabolism,” solely because the participants skipped their breakfast.

She explained that decreasing the quantities of sugar and starch in lunch and dinner will have zero effect on decreasing high levels of glucose if individuals suffering from diabetes continue to skip their breakfasts.

The research team illustrated that pancreatic beta cells that yield insulin lose their “memory” or in simple words “forget” their important part, as a result of the long gap between one’s dinner and next day’s lunch. This loss of memory prompts beta cells to consume extra time to recover after lunch, triggering tiny and delayed insulin reciprocations, thereby leading to an unexpected increase of blood sugar levels for the entire day. Another factor is that not eating until lunch elevates the levels of fatty acids in our blood that makes insulin ineffectual in decreasing levels of blood glucose.

Jakubowicz said that in spite of several previous studies demonstrating the benefits of a high-caloric breakfast both for reduction of weight and controlling the glucose metabolism, very less was known about the effect of not eating breakfast on increasing blood sugar levels for the entire day.

She added that in context to their research, she and her team would advise that individuals suffering from type-2 diabetes shouldn’t skip their breakfast as it triggers significant damage to beta cell role and elevates blood sugar levels, even if the persons “don’t overeat at lunch and dinner.”

The research team are now looking ahead to perform a same study on type-1 diabetes, which needs regular insulin therapy.

The study has been published in the journal Diabetes Care and was shown at the American Diabetes Association meeting in Boston in June, 2015.

Earlier, Livestrong.com reported that skipping breakfast makes one lose their energy because of lack of the first meal of the day makes one’s body obtain energy from stored glucose that in return makes one lethargic. It also said that skipping breakfast makes one feel hungrier and reduces the metabolism rate, which is significant in burning calories.

The World Health Organization (WHO), reported that in 2014 the global occurrence of diabetes was estimated as 9 percent among adults after nearly 1.5 million individuals died of the disease in 2012. Predicting that the disease will become the 7th chief causes of death by 2030, it also said that over 80 percent of diabetes deaths take place in low and middle income countries.

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