This study challenges the current advice given to diabetic patients, which is to have 3 small meals with snacks in between.
Fewer larger meals are better than several smaller ones for people with recent onset type 2 diabetes.
What the study actually did
54 patients were split into two groups.
I know, it is a small study, but one has to start somewhere, and small well-conducted pilot studies often lead to larger ones.
Both groups were given the same low calorie diets for 12 weeks.
One group were advised to split the food into two meals, and the other group were told to divide the food into 6 meals.
Both groups lost weight, but the 2-meal group lost significantly more weight than did the 6-meal group. Also, the fasting blood sugars and C-peptide (an inflammation marker) dropped more in the 2-meal group. There were comparable falls of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and insulin in both groups.
Were the researchers biased?
Unlikely, but I don’t know for sure.
Am I biased?
A resounding yes – I personally never feel full if I have several small meals – I just feel slightly hungry all the time.
Is meal frequency important?
Am I recommending that you change your meal frequency habits?
I’m just presenting the facts from one study and my opinion. Although this study does validate what I have been doing for many years, which is to have two meals, (usually lunch and an early evening meal).
2 meals a day suits me because I never feel hungry in the mornings and skip breakfast most of the time. But it’s tough when I go on holiday if a full buffet breakfast is included in the hotel plan – breakfast becomes the start of the fall down…
Link to the original study: Eating two larger meals a day (breakfast and lunch) is more effective than six smaller meals in a reduced-energy regimen for patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomised crossover study