The key to lowering the risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes may be a fasting diet that emphasizes eating early in the day.
To determine which diet was better for people who were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, researchers from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) compared two different diets: a time-restricted, intermittent fasting diet and a reduced calorie diet.
According to senior author Professor Leonie Heilbronn of the University of Adelaide’s Adelaide Medical School, “following a time restricted, intermittent fasting diet could help lessen the odds of acquiring type 2 diabetes.”
“After six months, people who fasted for three days a week and only ate between 8am and 12pm on those days shown a higher tolerance to glucose than those who followed a daily, low-calorie diet.
“Compared to those on the low-calorie diet, participants who followed the intermittent fasting diet were more sensitive to insulin and also had lower blood cholesterol levels.”
When the body’s cells fail to respond to insulin as it should and it loses the capacity to manufacture the hormone, which is in charge of regulating blood glucose, type 2 diabetes develops.
According to estimates, dietary and lifestyle adjustments could postpone or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes in close to 60% of cases.
There is presently no cure for the illness, which affects over 1.3 million Australians.
The 18-month study, which was reported in the academic journal Nature Medicine, included more than 200 patients recruited from South Australia.
Similar amounts of weight reduction were achieved by participants on the low-calorie diet and the time-restricted, intermittent fasting diet.
More study is required to see whether the same advantages are obtained with a somewhat longer eating window, which would make the diet more long-term sustainable.