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Eat More For Breakfast, Live Longer

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Eating more of your calories during the first half of your day could mean a lower risk of mortality from diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). A recent study found that if those with diabetes and cardiovascular disease make a small adjustment to the amount of food they eat in the second half of the day – moving just 5% of total calorie intake from dinner to breakfast – mortality risk from their disease significantly decreases.

Researchers conducted an observational study in approximately 4,700 adults with diabetes and looked at energy and macronutrient intake using a 24-hour dietary recall over 2 back-to-back days. When looking at the relationship between mortality (including mortality from diabetes, CVD, and all causes) and energy consumption throughout the day, the scientists found that those who consumed the highest amount of their calories for dinner were almost twice as likely to die from diabetes and 69% more likely to die from CVD when compared to those who had the least difference in caloric intake between breakfast and dinner.

Once these findings were clear, researchers conducted a model to assess how much more energy should be consumed in the first half of the day to make significant shifts in diabetes and CVD mortality rates. They found that moving approximately 5% of total energy intake from dinner to breakfast resulted in a 4% decrease in diabetes mortality and a 5% decrease in CVD mortality. Based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet, that 5% shift represents 100 calories. Diabetes Care

Takeaway: As Dr. Chutkan states in her book, Gutbliss: A 10-day plan to ban bloat, flush toxins, and dump your digestive baggage, “Breakfast like a queen or king, lunch like a princess or prince, and dinner like a pauper – and nothing to eat after 9pm.” This rule can be helpful for anyone looking to lose weight and/or optimize their digestion, not only those with diabetes and CVD. Studies show that eating more of your calories earlier in the day results in lower mortality, optimized weight management, weight loss, and overall lower disease risk.

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