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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/19/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Two meals a day may be more effective than smaller, regular meals, doctors say

The standard notion is that three square meals a day is the best nutritional advice across the board. Now, some doctors say that restricting mealtimes for diabetics to strictly breakfast and lunch can be more effective than eating, smaller regular meals.

Some doctors say that restricting mealtimes for diabetics to strictly breakfast and lunch can be more effective than eating, smaller regular meals.

Some doctors say that restricting mealtimes for diabetics to strictly breakfast and lunch can be more effective than eating, smaller regular meals.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/19/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Diabetes, lunch, breakfast, bigger meals


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Researchers in Prague fed two groups of 27 people the same calorie diet spread over two or six meals a day. Volunteers who ate two meals a day were found to lose more weight than those who ate six, and their blood sugar dropped.

These findings support "existing evidence" that fewer, larger meals were the way forward.

Starvation never takes a vacation --

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough of the hormone insulin, which controls the amount of sugar in the blood, meaning blood sugar levels become too high.

Diabetes left untreated can lead to heart disease and stroke, nerve damage, light-sensitive eyes and kidney disease. In the United Kingdom, 90 percent of all diabetics have type 2 form of the disease.

Current advice for diabetics is three meals a day, with healthy snacks.

In order to reach their conclusion, scientists at the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague divided a group of 54 volunteers aged 30 to 70 with type 2 diabetes into two groups of 27 people.

Volunteers were then given either a six-meal-a-day diet for 12 weeks followed by a two-meal day diet, or vice versa.

The second group ate between 06:00 and 10:00 and then between 12:00 and 16:00, while the first group ate their food throughout the day.

Weight loss for the two-meal group averaged three pounds more, as well as losing an inch-and-a-half more from their waistlines.

"The patients were really afraid they would get hungry in the evening but feelings of hunger were lower as the patients ate until they were satisfied," Lead scientist Dr. Hana Kahleova, at the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine said. She described the results as "very pleasing.

"When they ate six times a day the meals were not leaving them feeling satisfied. It was quite surprising."

Kahleova said the study could also apply to people without diabetes who were trying to lose weight.

Dr. Richard Elliott, research communications officer at Diabetes U.K., said the study added to evidence that eating fewer, larger meals a day could be more effective than smaller, frequent meals at helping people manage their condition.

"However, larger studies over longer periods of time will be needed to back up these findings before we would make changes to the dietary advice given to people with type 2 diabetes," Elliot said.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet, being active and maintaining a healthy weight, alongside taking any medication was "vital" to effectively manage the condition, he said.

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