A study out of the Harvard School of Public Health was just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that has implications for the type 2 diabetes diet and for prediabetes metabolic syndrome management. It looked at the associations between breakfast omission, eating frequency, snacking, and type 2 diabetes risk in men.
Over 29,000 American men were followed for 16 years with an evaluation of their eating habits and type 2 diabetes risk.
The researchers looked at :
- Eating breakfast versus skipping it.
- Eating 3 times per day versus 1-2 times per day.
- Eating 3 times per day plus snacks.
It seems that those people that skipped breakfast had a higher odds of getting type 2 diabetes. Snacking also was not helpful, but became less significant overall.
Breakfast is an interesting meal and a time when you can really impact your metabolism. If you are not hungry when you get up in the morning, then don’t eat right away. Move around some, then eat.
In the United States we are eating far too many carbohydrates for breakfast. This creates a sugar surge in the a.m. that is not healthy, and tends to create more hunger mid-morning.
An old-fashioned breakfast that includes some form of protein with a little carbohydrate is more appropriate although I realize it is difficult to eat like this in the rushed mornings of 21st century America.
Common old-fashioned breakfasts include: ham and eggs, steak and eggs, bacon and eggs. A study published out of the University of Connecticut, Department of Nutritional Sciences looked at the effect of eating eggs for breakfast on how full people felt after eating eggs, and how much people ate throughout the day after an egg breakfast.
Twenty-one men, 20 to 70 years old, ate either a breakfast with: EGG (% carb/fat/protein = 22:55:23) or BAGEL (% carb/fat/protein = 72:12:16). Both breakfasts had the same amount of calories.
Blood sugar glucose levels, insulin levels, and appetite hormones were analyzed at different time points. The men ate fewer calories after the EGG breakfast compared with the BAGEL breakfast.
In addition, the men ate more calories in the 24-hour period after the BAGEL compared with the EGG breakfast. The men were hungrier and less satisfied 3 hours after the BAGEL breakfast compared with the EGG breakfast. They had higher plasma glucose, a higher hunger hormone ghrelin and higher insulin levels with BAGEL.
These findings suggest that eating eggs for breakfast results in less varied blood sugar and insulin levels , a suppressed feeling of hunger, and overall reduced calorie intake.
But hold on a minute, you say, “what about their cholesterol levels after eating all those eggs?” Well, this may come as a shocker in light of the fat-o-phobia culture that has developed in the United States over the past 30 years, but eggs do not necessarily raise cholesterol, nor does meat…Read on.
A study out of the same Department of Nutrition has looked at the effect of eggs in particular on lipid-cholesterol levels entitled “Effects of eggs on plasma lipoproteins in healthy populations.” They report that 75% of the population has little to no increase in their cholesterol level when given high amounts of dietary cholesterol, and that 25% of the population experiences an increase in LDL and HDL.
When cholesterol is raised, it is important to understand what is happening before jumping to conclusions. Egg intake has been shown to promote the formation of large LDL and HDL subtypes and shifts a person from LDL pattern B (what smart Nutrientology readers know as small, dense LDL) to pattern A (large buoyant LDL). The large buoyant LDL is less likely to cause the narrowing or “clogging up” of a blood vessel, that occurs as part of cardiovascular disease.
But hold on a minute, you say, “either the UConn. Department of Nutrition has an egg-addiction or one of the researchers is the son of a chicken farmer.” Well, let’s take a look at the other side of the world where researchers from Australia have published a study entitled, “Egg consumption as part of an energy-restricted high-protein diet improves blood lipid and blood glucose profiles in individuals with type 2 diabetes.”
This study addresses the steak and eggs breakfast. Researchers took 65 type 2 overweight diabetics with an average age of 54 years, and a BMI of 34, and looked at the effects of a reduced calorie high-protein high-cholesterol (EGGS) diet compared to a similar amount of meat instead of eggs creating a high-protein low-cholesterol (MEAT) diet. The total carbohydrate:protein:fat ratio of 40:30:30 % were similar between the two diets, but differed in cholesterol content with the EGG diet containing 590 mg cholesterol and the MEAT diet with 213 mg cholesterol.
The researchers looked at:
- lipid-cholesterol levels
- blood sugar control
- cardiovascular risk markers.
After 12 weeks:
- weight loss was 13.2 lbs
- LDL-C and homocysteine remained unchanged.
All the subjects reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides, non-HDL-cholesterol, apo-B, HbA1c, fasting blood glucose, fasting insulin, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure.
- Significance was not altered by diet, sex, medication or amount of weight loss.
- HDL-C increased on the EGG diet and decreased on the MEAT diet.
The authors conclude: “These results suggest that a high-protein energy-restricted diet high in cholesterol from eggs improved glycemic and lipid profiles, blood pressure and apo-B in individuals with type 2 diabetes.” Apo-B is found in unhealthy small dense pattern B LDL.
Counterintuitive isn’t it?