Adults with type 2 diabetes who eat a large low-calorie breakfast heavy in protein and fat have better glycemic control than those who eat a small low-calorie breakfast, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Barcelona, Spain.

Hadas Rabinovitz, M.D., from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Rehovot, Israel, and colleagues assessed glycemic control and hormone profile in 59 adults with type 2 diabetes who were randomly assigned to balanced hypocaloric diabetic diets with either a big breakfast (33 percent of total daily energy intake, with a higher percentage of protein and fat) or a small breakfast (12.5 percent of total daily energy intake).

After 13 weeks, the researchers found that the big breakfast group had significantly greater reductions in hemoglobin A1c, systolic blood pressure, and hunger scores, and greater improvements in fasting glucose. The big breakfast group also had reductions in diabetes medication doses in a significantly greater proportion of patients, while the small breakfast group had a significantly greater proportion of patients with dose increases.

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“A simple dietary manipulation of [a] big breakfast diet rich in protein and fat appears to have additional benefits compared to a conventional low-calorie diet in individuals with type 2 diabetes,” Rabinovitz and colleagues conclude.