Researchers at Linkoping University in Sweden studied the effect on blood glucose, blood lipids and different hormones after meals were compared using three different macronutrient compositions in patients with type 2 diabetes.
The three diets were a low fat diet, a low carbohydrate diet and a Mediterranean diet. The scientists included 21 patients that tested all three diets in a randomized order. During each test day blood samples were collected at six time points.
The low fat diet had a nutrient composition that has traditionally been recommended in the Nordic countries, with about 55% of the total energy from the carbohydrates. The low carbohydrate diet had a relatively low content of carbohydrate; approximately 20% of the energy was from carbohydrates and about 50% of the total energy came from fat.
The Mediterranean diet was composed of only a cup of black coffee for breakfast, and with all the caloric content corresponding to breakfast and lunch during the other two test days accumulated to one large lunch.
“We found that low low-carbohydrate diet increased blood glucose levels much less than the low-fat diet but that levels of triglycerides tended to be high compared to the low fat diet,” said Doctor Hans Guldbrand, who together with Professor Fredrik Nystrom was the principal investigator of the study.
“It is very interesting that the Mediterranean diet, without breakfast and with a massive lunch with wine, did not induce higher blood glucose levels than the low-fat diet lunch, despite such a large single meal,” said Nystrom.
This suggests that it s favorable to have a large meal instead of several smaller meals when you have diabetes.
“Our results give reason to reconsider both nutritional composition and meal arrangements for patients with diabetes,” Nystrom said.