Early eating fasting diet could combat type 2 diabetes

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A recent study from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) sheds new light on dietary strategies to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Their research, published in Nature Medicine, compared two diets: a time-restricted, intermittent fasting diet and a reduced calorie diet, focusing on their effectiveness for individuals at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The study was led by Professor Leonie Heilbronn of the University of Adelaide’s Adelaide Medical School. It involved 200 participants from South Australia, making it one of the largest and most comprehensive studies in this area to date.

The participants were followed for 18 months, providing valuable insights into long-term dietary impacts.

The intermittent fasting diet required participants to eat only between 8 am and 12 pm on three days of the week, essentially fasting for the remainder of those days.

After six months, these participants showed better glucose tolerance – a key factor in preventing type 2 diabetes – compared to those on a daily low-calorie diet.

Furthermore, those following the intermittent fasting diet were found to be more sensitive to insulin and experienced a greater reduction in blood lipids, both important markers for diabetes risk.

Type 2 diabetes, a condition where the body’s cells become less responsive to insulin, affects a significant portion of the global population.

In Australia alone, almost 1.3 million people live with this condition. Lifestyle and dietary changes are known to play a crucial role in delaying or preventing its onset.

Interestingly, both diet groups in the study experienced similar amounts of weight loss, indicating that the timing and pattern of eating, not just calorie reduction, could be key factors in reducing diabetes risk.

Xiao Tong Teong, a PhD student at the University of Adelaide and the study’s first author, emphasized the significance of the study’s findings.

The research suggests that meal timing and fasting can extend the health benefits of a calorie-restricted diet, independently of weight loss.

The study’s results offer promising news for those looking to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes through dietary changes. The findings suggest that a time-restricted, intermittent fasting diet could be a feasible and effective approach.

However, further research is needed to explore whether a slightly longer eating window could yield similar benefits and make this dietary approach more sustainable in the long term.

This research adds to the growing body of evidence on the importance of not just what we eat but also when we eat in managing and preventing diabetes.

As such, it could have significant implications for clinical practice and public health strategies aimed at combating the rising tide of type 2 diabetes worldwide.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about Vitamin D and type 2 diabetes, and what you need to know about avocado and type 2 diabetes.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about how to eat to prevent type 2 diabetes, and 5 vitamins that may prevent complication in diabetes.

The research findings can be found in Nature Medicine.

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