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If you’re at risk of type 2 diabetes or simply focused on prevention, you should know that new research from The Endocrine Society supports early eating as a potential preventative practice.
In a study presented virtually at ENDO 2021, the Society’s annual meeting, researchers shared evidence of this newfound connection. Study participants who ate earlier than 8:30am experienced lower blood sugar levels and less insulin resistance than those who ate later. Those with higher insulin resistance are usually at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Therefore, eating earlier may very well help you prevent developing the disorder.
Healthcare practitioners have long known that time-restricted eating, often referred to as intermittent fasting (IF), can improve metabolic health. Seeing as diabetes is a metabolic disorder, this is a significant finding.
But this research found that even between people sharing the same durations of time eating versus fasting, insulin resistance was lower in those who started earlier. Meaning, two people may both eat only during an 8-hour window in the day. But if person A eats between 8:30am and 4:30pm, and person B eats from 10am to 6pm, person A is more likely to have less insulin resistance.
“These findings suggest that timing is more strongly associated with metabolic measures than duration, and support early eating strategies,” said the study’s lead researcher, Marriam Ali, M.D., of Northwestern University in Chicago.
For the healthiest possible start to your day, try eating earlier. Plus, here are some recommendations from our Advisory Board members Erin Macdonald RDN and Tiffani Bachus RDN for the ultimate good-for-you breakfast:
- Drink 8-16 ounces of water first thing in the morning to break you fast. This will hydrate your body and brain and activate the day’s digestion process.
- Eat your first meal during the first hour of being awake.
- Instead of sugary cereals or carb-loaded buttered toast, consider a filling omelette with veggies sautéed in some coconut oil
- If you like something sweet in the mornings, have a bowl of antioxidant-rich berries like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries
- Drink coffee or tea; they both contain antioxidants and caffeine for a bodily boost and mental clarity. (But be careful not to load up with nutrient-poor creamer and sugar!)