Why The Timing Of Your Meals Is Critical For Type 2 Diabetes Management

Why The Timing Of Your Meals Is Critical For Type 2 Diabetes Management

Are you aware that what you eat has a significant impact on your health when it comes to controlling type 2 diabetes?

Why The Timing Of Your Meals Is Critical For Type 2 Diabetes Management

Are you aware that what you eat has a significant impact on your health when it comes to controlling type 2 diabetes?

Eating regular, balanced meals is critical on multiple levels,” Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDCES, a dietitian located in Los Angeles who specialises in prediabetes and diabetes treatment, tells Healthline.

From aiding in the upkeep of stable blood sugar levels to managing your body’s internal clock, here are the reasons why mealtime is critical for type 2 diabetes – and how to build a plan that works for you.

Source - Times News Network

Appropriate Meal Time Improves Blood Sugar Management

As you are probably well aware and have experienced before, eating on a fairly constant meal plan helps maintain stable blood sugar levels and keeps you feeling energetic throughout the day.

If you skip meals for an extended period of time, Sheth explains, you will experience a noticeable drop in blood sugar.

Meanwhile, if you budget one large meal a day, you’re likely to experience a rapid surge in blood glucose and then a complete lack of energy for the remaining of the day, she says.

While glucose levels typically reach a high after approximately 90 minutes of having a meal, the time required for levels to return to normal varies by individual. Moreover, it is dependent on whether the individual is using a blood sugar-lowering drug such as insulin, which might accelerate the comedown.

Regular Meals Contribute To The Regulation Of Your Internal Clock

Mealtimes that are regularly planned are more about blood sugar fluctuations. When you eat sends a significant signal to every cell in your body, affecting inflammation levels, the pace at which your body can replace old, dying cells with new, stronger ones, the health of your gut bacteria, and even your circadian clock.

Or, more precisely, regular mealtimes can benefit your health by stabilising your circadian clock, Dr. Anis Rehman, assistant professor of endocrinology at Southern Illinois University, tells Healthline.

Circadian rhythms are a huge system of 24-hour cycles that operate in the background of every cell in the human body. They regulate hormone levels, metabolism, and everything you do and think. They even have an effect on the way the body reacts to drugs.

Even your microbiota, the good bacteria that dwell in your gut and have been shown to be critical for immunological health, must strictly follow circadian cycles in order to operate optimally.

Meanwhile, it is believed that disrupted circadian rhythms contribute to the development and progression of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

According to Rehman, when you eat may have an effect on the genes that control your circadian rhythm and metabolism.

How? According to a 2019 research published in the journal Cell, it’s likely tied to something you’re already familiar with: insulin. Insulin is released each time you eat and serves as a significant timing signal throughout the body, the research authors add.

The quick rundown: A mealtime plan that is excellent for blood sugar control is also beneficial for overall body health.

Your Best Mealtime Schedule For Type 2 Diabetes

While it would be convenient to provide everyone with a specific plan of when they should eat, meal scheduling is not that straightforward.

Everyone is unique, and it’s important to identify what works best for each person in terms of meal timing and blood sugar management,” Sheth said. 

Here are some tried-and-true meal-timing guidelines to consider:

Consume A Hearty Breakfast

Consuming a big breakfast and smaller meals for lunch and dinner will help people with type 2 diabetes and obesity to control their glucose levels, and reduce their daily insulin dose, according to studies.

Make breakfast a solid meal rich in blood sugar-regulating protein, fibre, and fats for the best outcome. Because blood sugar levels and cortisol levels tend to surge in the morning, a low-carb breakfast will not worsen the change, according to registered dietitian Aubrey Phelps to Healthline. 

Avoid Fasting For More Than 5 To 6 Waking Hours

As a general guideline, aim to avoid extended periods of time without food throughout the day, Sheth advises, adding that 5 to 6 hours between meals is the absolute maximum most individuals with diabetes should go.

Phelps adds that some individuals may even need to eat every three to four hours to maintain ideal blood sugar control.

Bear in mind that the intervals with which you must eat will dictate your optimal snacking plan.

Snacking With A Purpose

Sheth advises her clients to have one to two snacks each day, but only as required based on their lifestyle, activity level, and overall health. After all, she notes that although some individuals benefit significantly from snacks in terms of blood sugar management, energy levels, and total satiety, others do better with three meals each day.

Finally, the most important aspect of snacking is its purpose. Are you munching around 3 p.m. because you’re hungry and your blood sugar is falling? Or are you just bored at your desk?

Monitoring blood sugar levels, such as using a continuous blood sugar monitor, may be quite helpful in deciding what is happening with you, Phelps adds.

Make An Attempt To Fast At Night

There are several opinions on intermittent fasting or spending long periods of time without food throughout the day, particularly when it comes to health maintenance in diabetes patients.

However, the majority of experts believe that fasting at night — when the body is supposed to be resting — is good.

Sheth recommends fasting for 10 to 12 hours each night. For example, if you have breakfast every morning at 8:30 a.m., you should limit your nighttime meals and snacks to between 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. each night.

The Takeaway

When it comes to managing diabetes, it’s not just about what you eat; it’s also about when you eat. And, although there is no one-size-fits-all solution, little trial and error will help determine the meal pattern that is the best for your health.

Always consult your endocrinologist prior to making significant changes to your eating pattern, since these changes may need adjustments to your medicines and other parts of your blood sugar control.

Sources

https://www.healthline.com/health/type-2-diabetes/why-meal-timing-matters-with-type-2-diabetes

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