Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12 Tips for Traveling With Diabetes
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter
Top Rated
Blood Glucose Levels Archives
Print | Email | Share | Comments (8)

One Meal Daily May Be Better Option for People With Diabetes

Dec 23, 2013

The Mediterranean diet focuses on vegetables, legumes, fruits, and fish.

While most nutritional experts say that eating three meals a day is important to maintaining a steady metabolism, a new study suggests that one meal a day may be a better option for those with diabetes.

he study from Sweden found that those who ate one meal a day based on a Mediterranean diet plan saw better health results than those who ate three low-fat or low-carb meals a day.

The Mediterranean diet focuses on fish, whole grains, nuts, fruits and veggies, legumes and herbs, and is considered to be among the healthiest of diet options by nutritionists worldwide, and research has shown that it reduces the risk of heart disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Researchers at Sweden's Linköping University studied the effects of three diet plans on the blood glucose and cholesterol levels of those with diabetes. The plans included a three-meal low-fat diet, a three-meal low-carb diet, and a one-meal Mediterranean diet, featuring a single large lunch that included a glass of red wine.

"We found that the 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," the researchers wrote. "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."

The study featured 21 patients with type 2 diabetes, each of whom tried all three diets in varying order. The subjects' blood was tested as six times throughout the day.

The researchers say their findings could inspire medical professionals to consider new preventative measures again diabetes, which currently impacts about 26 million Americans.

And it could mean the end to breakfast as the most important meal of the day, at least for those with diabetes.

"It suggests that it is favorable to have a large meal instead of several smaller meals when you have diabetes, " said co-author Fredrik Nyström, adding that traditionally, the Mediterranean diet plan included forgoing breakfast. "Our results give reason to reconsider both nutritional composition and meal arrangements for patients with diabetes."

The study appeared in the journal PLoS ONE.

Categories: Blood Glucose Levels, Low Carb Diet, Low-Fat Diet, Mediterranean Diet

You May Also Be Interested In...


Posted by Anonymous on 23 December 2013

There are many problems with this, starting with saying it is a better option for "those with diabetes". It's a small study, done on people with type 2. Type 2's newly diagnosed often have more insulin production than long term t2s, and can handle more carbohydrates than a long term T2 can. A whole different set of problems applies to Type 1's. A fairly large percent of type 2's will get a huge glucose spike due to a liver dump, if they eat no carbs at all for breakfast.
The wine shuts down liver production of glucose while the alcohol is being processed.



Posted by Anonymous on 26 December 2013

you have to have some form of breakfast, as a diabetic. that doesn't mean eggs, bacon, bread, etc. just SOMETHING. it is more important for us to "break the fast" by eating something in the morning so that we don't start breaking down our own fats for energy- resulting in impending ketoacidosis. that is the biggest issue i have with this "article". not to mention the glaringly obvious issues with the lack of science in their "studies".

Posted by Anonymous on 31 December 2013

What if all kinds of fish including shellfish give you gout?

Posted by shosty on 31 December 2013

Every time and article title or text uses the general term "diabetes" to indicate type 2, it is leaving out the entire population of type 1's.

Type 1's and those on insulin may need carbs for balance and for safety.

Posted by Anonymous on 31 December 2013

I've had Type 1 diabetes for the past 22 years. I don't eat at set meal schedules, I normally let my BG readings decide when it's time to eat. Some days I'll eat as many as 7 times, some days I'll only eat one meal, and there are even some days where I won't eat anything at all resulting in some times as much as 30 or more hours between meals.

Posted by Anonymous on 1 January 2014

I think this makes sense because if you eat only 1 meal then there's only one chance for your blood sugar to go up and then back down.

Posted by Anonymous on 1 January 2014

I agree with Lloyd that this is junk science but because it compared apples to oranges. They should have compared each of the 3 diets one meal per day vs. 3 meals per day. Comparing 1 Mediterranean meal/day to 3 low-carb meals/day or 3 low-fat meals/day tells us nothing about whether it's the one meal/day that is best or if it's the Mediterranean diet that's best. There was no control in this study and you have to wonder who designed it. All of the conclusions reached by the researchers are highly suspect!

Posted by Anonymous on 9 February 2014

I am one on many type 2s who are required to take metformin twice a day with a small amount of food. These twice daily little meals alone should invalidate the "advantages" of this single daily meal.

Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.