what happens when diabetics skip breakfast

What Happens When Diabetics Skip Breakfast

More and more Americans skip breakfast on a daily basis. I get it. Our busy lifestyles of early mornings and rushing to get off to work allows little time for a substantial meal in the mornings. Not only that but most meals are usually those that are quick – high in carbohydrates and offer little nutritional value. But what happens if you’re diabetic – and skip breakfast altogether?

Skipping Breakfast As A Diabetic

A new study to come out of Israel took a look at just what happens when type two diabetics skip breakfast and fast until noon. Let’s take a look at what we know: a breakfast that’s higher in protein and fats and lower in carbohydrates has great benefits at helping to regulate blood sugar levels in the morning.

For this study, twenty-two type two diabetics were selected with an average age of 56.9 and an average BMI of 28.2. – which is considered overweight. The study took place over two days and was calorie controlled – all of the participants ate milk, tuna, bread, and a chocolate bar for lunch and dinner (not the best diabetic options for any meal by any means). The only difference was that on one day they ate breakfast and on the second day they fasted until lunch.

What The Researchers Found:

On days that the study participants skipped breakfast, participants had far worse blood sugar peaks (268mg/dl for lunch and 298mg/dl after dinner). On the day that breakfast was included, the average blood sugar peak after meals was 192mg/dl for lunch and 215mg/dl for dinner.

The Researchers’ Conclusion:

Reducing the amount of starch and sugars in lunch and dinner will not have an effect on reducing blood sugar levels if diabetic individuals also skip breakfast. The cause for this, they argue, is because the pancreatic beta cells (responsible for producing insulin), lose their memory because of the long periods between meals. This has an effect on the ability of the pancreas to control blood sugar throughout the day.

Issues With This Study On Diabetics Skipping Breakfast

While it’s no secret that skipping breakfast isn’t the best idea – this study raises several questions. First of all, it only took place over two days. Meals were also preselected and not the most diabetic friendly. What would happen to blood sugar levels over a prolonged period of time of skipping breakfast? Would they continue to be high? What would happen if instead of bread, milk, and chocolate, other items were selected? What about real food options where carbohydrates would be from healthier food options such as potatoes or a small amount of fruit? What if a moderate amount of vegetables were added to the participants meals?

Regardless, skipping out on breakfast can have profound effects on your blood sugar levels. Eat up. Enjoy an egg or two – or three.

Sources:

N.a. “Diabetics Who Skip Breakfast Provoke Hazardous Blood Sugar Spikes.” Tel Aviv University. 28 July 2015. Web. 10 August 2015.

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