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Intermittent fasting safe, effective for diabetes control: Study
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New York: A recent study has revealed that time-restricted eating, commonly referred to as intermittent fasting, is beneficial for individuals with Type-2 diabetes in terms of weight loss and blood sugar level management.
Conducted by the University of Illinois-Chicago in the United States, the study discovered that participants who confined their eating to an eight-hour period from noon to 8 p.m. daily experienced greater weight loss over a span of six months compared to those who were advised to cut their daily calorie consumption by 25 percent.
Participants' weight, waist circumference, blood sugar levels and other health indicators were measured over the course of six months.
Krista Varady, professor of kinesiology and nutrition at the varsity, said that participants in the time-restricted eating group had an easier time following the regime than those in the calorie-reducing group.
The researchers believe this is partly because patients with diabetes are generally told to cut back on calories by their doctors as a first line of defence, so many of these participants likely had already tried -- and struggled with -- that form of dieting.
And while the participants in the time-restricted eating group were not instructed to reduce their calorie intake, they ended up doing so by eating within a fixed window.
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"Our study shows that time-restricted eating might be an effective alternative to traditional dieting for people who can't do the traditional diet or are burned out on it," said Varady. "For many people trying to lose weight, counting time is easier than counting calories."
There were no serious adverse events reported during the six-month study. Occurrences of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) did not differ between the diet groups and control groups.
The study was small and should be followed up by larger ones, said Varady. While it acts as a proof of concept to show that time-restricted eating is safe for those with type 2 diabetes, Varady said people with diabetes should consult their doctors before starting this sort of diet.