The most important meal of the day? Eggs for breakfast could help those with Type 2 Diabetes

An image of eggs for breakfast, which may have benefits for people with type 2 diabetes
©iStock/Derkien

A UBC professor suggested that people with Type 2 Diabetes could benefit from eating a low carbohydrate breakfast such as eggs.

Associate Professor Jonathan Little, from UBC Okanagan’s School of Health and Exercise Sciences, says that breakfast is frequently the problem meal that leads to the largest blood sugar spikes for people with Type 2 Diabetes.

Why is breakfast the ‘problem’ meal?

Little said: “The large blood sugar spike that follows breakfast is due to the combination of pronounced insulin resistance in the morning in people with T2D and because typical Western breakfast foods-cereal, oatmeal, toast and fruit-are high in carbohydrates.”

What are the benefits of eating a low carbohydrate breakfast?

In the study, it was noted that:

  •  Pre-meal hunger and their cravings for sweet foods later in the day tended to be lower if they ate the low-carb breakfast; and
  • Consuming a very low-carbohydrate high-fat breakfast completely prevented the blood sugar spike after breakfast and this had enough of an effect to lower overall glucose exposure and improve the stability of glucose readings for the next 24 hours.

Little explained: “We expected that limiting carbohydrates to less than 10 per cent at breakfast would help prevent the spike after this meal. But we were a bit surprised that this had enough of an effect and that the overall glucose control and stability were improved. We know that large swings in blood sugar are damaging to our blood vessels, eyes, and kidneys. The inclusion of a very low-carbohydrate high-fat breakfast meal in T2D patients may be a practical and easy way to target the large morning glucose spike and reduce associated complications.”

He concluded: “The results of our study suggest potential benefits of altering macronutrient distribution throughout the day so that carbohydrates are restricted at breakfast with a balanced lunch and dinner rather than consuming an even distribution and moderate amount of carbohydrates throughout the day.”

Little suggests this change in diet maybe a healthy step for anybody, even those who are not living with diabetes.

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