A fasting diet which focuses on eating early in the day could be the key to reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, suggests a new large study.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body’s cells don’t respond effectively to insulin and it loses its ability to produce the hormone, which is responsible for controlling glucose in blood.
It’s estimated that nearly 60 per cent of type 2 diabetes cases could be delayed or prevented with changes to diet and lifestyle.
About the study
Researchers from the University of Adelaide and South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute compared two different diets – a time-restricted, intermittent fasting diet and a reduced calorie diet – to see which one was more beneficial for people who were at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
The 18-monty study involved over 200 participants.
Participants who fasted for three days during the week, eating only between 8am and 12pm on those days, showed a greater tolerance to glucose after six months compared to people who ate a reduced calorie diet each day.
Participants who followed the intermittent fasting diet were more sensitive to insulin and also experienced a greater reduction in blood fats than those on the low-calorie diet.
Participants on both the time restricted, intermittent fasting diet and the low-calorie diet experienced similar amounts of weight loss.
The results of this study add to the growing body of evidence to indicate that meal timing and fasting advice extends the health benefits of a restricted calorie diet, irrespective of weight loss.
Further research is needed to investigate if the same benefits are experienced with a slightly longer eating window, which could make the diet more sustainable in the long term.
Source: Nature Medicine, April 6, 2023.
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