Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Early Time Restricted Feeding And Insulin Sensitivity

The Study

There has been a lot of popular interest in intermittent fasting in the last few years. However, most of the research that I have seen paints a fairly negative picture of the benefits and health consequences of this dietary practice. This article uses a much gentler version of energy restriction. In this investigation, 16 healthy young men were assigned to one of 2 groups. Eight subjects had their energy restricted to the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM. The other 8 subjects could eat all day, but had a similar caloric restriction. After 2 weeks, weight loss was the same in the 2 groups, but the energy restricted group had a significant improvement in insulin sensitivity. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2020 112:1015-28.

Take Home Message

This is a very interesting study. Eating from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM is a very mild form of energy restriction and appears to improve insulin sensitivity. This style of eating allows one to consume a breakfast, lunch and early dinner. I think that these three meals are important to ensure that blood sugar is stable and adequate nutrients are consumed. The researchers believe the benefit to insulin sensitivity was due to the fact that glucose tolerance is higher earlier in the day, when most food was consumed by the energy restriction group.

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