24 May 2021Share
Time-restricted eating could be a gamechanger for more than one million Australians with type 2 diabetes.
Dr Evelyn Parr’s latest research found people with type 2 diabetes may benefit from time-restricted eating as a long-term dietary strategy for blood glucose management.
Extended fasting has been shown to improve metabolic health outcomes even without substantial weight loss.
Dr Parr found that eating all meals and snacks within a nine-hour window, and fasting for the rest of the time, was also a good way to limit post-dinner snacking.
For many of us with busy lifestyles, our tendency to start eating early and not stop until just before bed is a pattern playing havoc with our health.
“The best way to describe it is we all have an internal body clock that tells us when it’s time to sleep, when to wake up, and we have different hormones working at different times,” she explained.
“And with so many of us having easy access to food literally 24 hours a day with no restrictions, it encourages us to lengthen our eating time through the day and night. But this includes the times when our bodies are not really prepared or naturally ready to eat.
“So, if someone eats until 10pm or later and then has breakfast at 7am, they don’t have a long overnight fasting period.”
Dr Parr said the length of that period seems to be important in improving and regulating metabolism.
“The end of the day is when our body responds poorly to insulin – the hormone released from the pancreas in response to food,” she said.
“When we eat late, insulin doesn’t work as well, so we get exacerbated glucose responses to that food. It’s also when we eat our biggest meals and consume sugary snacks and alcohol.
“This means time-restricted eating is about aligning your eating with your body’s preparedness for it and only eating at optimal times. It offers a guide and timeframe to follow, rather than dictating specific foods you shouldn’t eat, and it can help minimise overeating.”
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