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Intermittent Fasting and Early Eating Impact on Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Core Concepts
Intermittent fasting combined with early time-restricted eating can impact type 2 diabetes risk.
The content discusses a randomized controlled trial involving over 200 individuals at risk of type 2 diabetes. It explores the effectiveness of intermittent fasting (IF) combined with early time-restricted eating in reducing diabetes risk compared to calorie restriction. While the IF intervention showed significant improvements in glucose control at 6 months, adherence to the plan decreased over time. Various experts comment on the study design, feasibility, and potential benefits of different dietary approaches. The study highlights the importance of meal timing and fasting advice in extending health benefits beyond weight loss.
The IF plus early time-restricted eating intervention was associated with a significant improvement in a key measure of glucose control versus calorie restriction at 6 months. Less than half of participants were still following the IF plus early time-restricted eating plan at 18 months. Time-restricted eating has been shown to naturally reduce calorie intake by 300-500 kcal/day. IF plus early time-restricted eating was associated with greater reductions in postprandial insulin AUC versus calorie restriction at 6 months. Fatigue was more common with IF plus early time-restricted eating, reported by 56% of participants versus 37% of those following calorie restriction.
"Following a time-restricted, IF diet could help lower the chances of developing type 2 diabetes." - Leonie K. Heilbronn, PhD "In all honesty, I don't think anyone would follow this diet for very long." - Krista Varady, PhD "These types of diets are much easier to follow and are more likely to produce lasting weight and glycemic control in people with obesity and prediabetes." - Krista Varady, PhD

Key Insights Distilled From

by Liam Davenpo... at 04-18-2023
Intermittent Fasting Plus Early Eating May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Deeper Inquiries

How can the findings of this study be applied to real-world dietary recommendations?

The findings of this study suggest that a combination of intermittent fasting (IF) with early time-restricted eating could be beneficial in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. This approach showed improvements in glucose control, cardiovascular risk markers, and body composition compared to standard weight loss advice. In real-world dietary recommendations, healthcare professionals could consider incorporating elements of IF and time-restricted eating for individuals at risk of diabetes. Emphasizing the timing of meals and incorporating periods of fasting could potentially offer additional health benefits beyond simple calorie restriction. However, it is important to consider individual preferences, lifestyle factors, and cultural norms when recommending such dietary approaches.

What are the potential drawbacks of combining intermittent fasting with early time-restricted eating?

While the combination of intermittent fasting with early time-restricted eating showed promising results in the study, there are potential drawbacks to consider. One drawback is the challenge of adherence to such a strict eating schedule. The study found that less than half of the participants were still following the plan at 18 months, indicating difficulties in maintaining this dietary approach long-term. Additionally, combining IF with early time-restricted eating may lead to fatigue, headaches, and constipation in some individuals. The social aspect of eating, especially skipping dinner with family or friends on multiple days of the week, could also pose challenges and affect adherence to this regimen.

How might cultural or social factors influence the adoption of different dietary approaches?

Cultural and social factors play a significant role in influencing the adoption of different dietary approaches. For example, certain cultural norms and traditions may revolve around specific meal times or types of foods, making it challenging for individuals to adhere to a strict eating schedule like early time-restricted eating. Social gatherings and family meals are important aspects of many cultures, and dietary restrictions that limit participation in these activities may not be sustainable in the long run. Moreover, the perception of fasting or restricting food intake may vary across cultures, with some viewing it as beneficial for health while others may have concerns or reservations. Considering cultural and social factors is essential when recommending dietary approaches to ensure they are practical, acceptable, and sustainable for individuals from diverse backgrounds.