Save carbs for dinner to reduce diabetes risk

Carbohydrates get a bad rap these days.

In a culture where carbs (sugar) are consumed in such excess, we've learned to demonize them--especially when it comes to diabetes and other health conditions affected by blood sugar levels.

But a study out of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem--conducted by a student--may offer some food for thought about how to reduce your risk of diabetes: Eat most of your carbs at dinner.

Obese police officers follow two different diets

The study assigned 78 police officers two different diets: One group had the experimental diet in which more carbohydrates were consumed at dinner than throughout the rest of the day, and the other group consumed carbs at even levels throughout the day.

Researchers found that there were significant changes happening in the bodies of those on the "manipulation" diet. The hunger hormone, ghrelin, seemed to peak only in the evening hours, and adiponectin, the protein responsible for the development of insulin resistance, was elevated. In obese people (and presumably those with diabetes), the adiponectin "curve" tends to be low and flat.

Advantages to eating carbs later in the day

So what do these findings mean? It looks like there could be an advantage to eating more carbs in the later hours of the day, especially for people at risk of developing diabetes because of obesity. Zecharia Madar, Chief Scientist at Israel's Ministry of Education, explains:

"The findings lay the basis for a more appropriate dietary alternative for those people who have difficulty persisting in diets over time. The next step is to understand the mechanisms that led to the results obtained."

The idea for the study was based on research performed on the health of Muslims during Ramadan--a time during which they traditionally fast during the day and have carb-rich meals at night.

Two papers on the study can be found in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases.

Source: Science Daily

Photo by John Nyboer

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