EATING two large meals per day at breakfast and lunch, as opposed to smaller, more frequent food intakes, can prevent depression and hunger pains in those with Type 2 diabetes (T2D).
A new analysis used data from a previous study that compared two restricted-calorie diets in 54 people diagnosed with T2D. The participants spent 12 weeks eating six small meals per day, before another 12 weeks in which they consumed a large breakfast and lunch, and no dinner. The results showed that the mood of the participants was significantly better in the period during which they ate two larger meals each day.
Participants who ate less frequently felt more full and satisfied when they did eat, rather than feeling hungry throughout the day by eating smaller meals. This meant that disinhibition, which is the tendency to overeat in certain situations, also improved with the two-meal diet.
“Eating large breakfasts and lunches may be more beneficial than the usual snacking model,” said lead author Dr Hana Kahleova, Diabetes Centre, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic. “However, further larger-scale, long-term studies are needed before offering clear recommendations.”
Staggering one’s intake of carbohydrates throughout the day is of particular importance to those who have T2D so that steady blood sugar levels and a healthy weight can be maintained. The study also considers the emotional aspect of eating, which is so vital in maintaining good mental health as well as simply allowing an enjoyment of food for diabetes sufferers.
“Eat a hearty breakfast: eat breakfast like a king, lunch as a prince, and dinner as a paupe” remarked Dr Kahleova. “If you feel hungry in the evening you can have a vegetable salad.”