Nutrition experts have advised that to control weight and blood sugar, we should eat six small meals throughout the day—especially diabetics. However, new research stated that a big breakfast and lunch, with the same amount calories of mini meals, might be the better bet.

Published in the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes Diabetlogia, researchers evaluated 29 men and 25 women ages 30-70 that was prescribed oral medication to treat their diabetes. The first group was asked to eat six small meals, whereas the second consumed two large meals for breakfast and lunch for the duration of 12 weeks. Both groups were asked to eat 500 calories less than the recommended daily amount, and both diets had the same macronutrient and calorie content.

Led by Dr. Hana Kahleová, from the Diabetes Centre, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, in Prague, Czech Republic, the study found that while body weight decreased in both diets, the second group who are 2 meals lost an average of three more pounds. The second group had lower liver fat content percentage than the first group. Fasting plasma glucose and C-peptide levels decreased in both groups, but once again more for the second group.Fasting plasma glucagon—the hormone that converts glycogen back to glucose—decreased with the second group, but these levels increased for first group.

“These results suggest that, for type 2 diabetic patients on a calorie-restricted diet, eating larger breakfasts and lunches may be more beneficial than six smaller meals during the day,” the study stated.

Kahleová stated that at first, the participants were afraid that they would become hungry in the evening. “But when they ate six times a day the meals were not leaving them feeling satisfied. It was quite surprising,” she stated.

The researchers added that further larger scale and long-term studies should be conducted before a diet that consists of eating twice a day is recommended.

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