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Less not always best

Wednesday, 21st May, 2014

Heidi Drenkhahn says six small meals a day is an easier option. Heidi Drenkhahn says six small meals a day is an easier option.

By Emily Roberts

Two large meals are better than six small ones with the same calories for controlling weight and blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, according to recent research.

But Community Dietitian at the Broken Hill Health Service, Heidi Drenkhahn, says eating six small meals a day would be easier.

Research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) suggested that two large meals (breakfast and lunch), were the way to go.

The study assessed 54 patients who were asked to follow one of the two regimens of a restricted calorie diet, each containing 500 calories less than the recommended daily amount. 

The researchers found that body weight decreased in both regimens but more was lost with the two larger meals.

Ms Drenkhahn said both diets showed good results but people would be more likely to stick to six small meals a day.”

She said the two larger meals had to be breakfast and lunch, which also meant you couldn’t snack or eat after 4pm.

“You are going without dinner or any food after 4pm.

“Also, not being able to snack might make it hard to keep up with in the long term.”

She said this diet has been getting a lot of media attention, but it was important to talk to your GP before making any changes.

“Especially if you have a medical condition.”

Ms Drenkhahn said more studies will probably be done on the diets.

“It is a small study that is showing promise, but as it is a diet that affects diabetes, I’m sure more studies will be done in years to come.”

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