Medical Minute: Skipping Breakie can Lead to Higher Blood Glucose Later in the day

I recently read an article via my daily email from the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. I’m always drawn to anything that pertains to diabetes, so naturally when I saw an article about skipping meals leading to higher (not lower) blood glucose spikes – suffice it to say I was intrigued.

In practice I would say I’m a food cheerleading. I’m always encouraging people to EAT! (And preferably real foods). Whether it’s for blood sugar control, weight loss, weight gain, etc. 

Many times people feel skipping meals will help with weight loss- many times people just get an a pattern of not having a certain meal. Bottom line this can have metabolic consequences, whether it be overindulging later, difficulty losing weight, and/or difficulty with blood sugar control.

Prior to this study there have been quite a few studies that adequately demonstrated that there are benefits to consistent meals throughout the day, high caloric breakfasts, and high protein breakfasts. 

Essentially this team set out to look at the possible negative impacts of skipping breakfast in individuals with diabetes. 

The study had a very small sample size (22), 12 men and 10 women, average age being 57, and all were overweight and had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

On days these people were tested they were instructed to fast over night, then come to the clinic for blood work and 2-3 meals- depending on if they were skipping breakfast or not. 2-4 weeks later this process was done again, those who had three meals at the clinic before only had two the second time (breakfast being skipped); and vise versa. The meals were the same, balanced, and same number of calories.

On the days when patients skipped breakfast (so all night fast, then continuing that fast into the late morning early afternoon) their blood sugars were 40% higher after lunch and 25% higher after dinner- than on the days when they consumed breakfast.

This is huge. Despite the small sampling of people this really opens the door or creates the avenue for more research in this area.

Such as would be people who do not have diabetes experience similar imbalances throughout the afternoon? Could this lead to difficulty with weight loss or lead to weight gain? And more research into why this happened?

The author hypothesizes that with omitting that first meal the pancreas becomes sluggish or forgetful and doesn’t release adequate amounts of insulin later in the day. 

The duration of the fast may also be a significant contributing factor as well. 
Bottom line: eat, eat real nutritious food, and eat consistently. 
Other sources

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