Diabetes Self-Management Blog

Results from a small study conducted at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom suggest that the consumption of a high-protein, low-carbohydrate snack before breakfast can help reduce after-breakfast blood glucose levels by nearly 40% in people with Type 2 diabetes. High blood glucose after meals is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in both people with Type 1 and those with Type 2 diabetes.

Previous research has shown that blood glucose levels are lower after the second meal of the day in people who have eaten breakfast. In the Newcastle study, researchers looked at 10 men and women with Type 2 diabetes controlling their condition either with diet or with a combination of diet and the diabetes medicine metformin. Their after-breakfast blood glucose levels were compared over the course of two days: one day in which the participants ate only breakfast, and another in which they ate a snack consisting of 30 grams of soya beans and 75 grams of yogurt two hours prior to breakfast.

The results showed that blood glucose levels two hours after breakfast were nearly 40% lower on the snack day when compared to the breakfast-only day. There did not appear to be a difference in the amount of insulin secreted after breakfast between the two days; the researchers suspect that the lower blood glucose levels can be attributed to the suppression of fasting plasma free fatty acid, the result of which is more glucose being stored in the muscles as glycogen.

The study authors note that further research is necessary to determine the optimal timing and composition of the snack, but suggest that their findings “can be applied simply and practically to improve postbreakfast hyperglycemia in people with type 2 diabetes.”

For more information about the research, read the article “How to Reduce After Breakfast Blood Sugars 40%” or see the study in Diabetes Care.

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Comments
  1. The snacking before breakfast works really well for me. I eat 1/2 cup of cherrios with 1/4 cup of whole milk every morning about 6 am. At 10 am I eat 2 poached eggs on one slice of wheat bread. Then I snack on cheese and wheat thins at noon. I have a piece of fruit at 2 and a regular dinner at 5. I eat nothing after 6 pm. I am using exercise and diet to control Type 2 diabetes. My AC1 reading was over 300 (12+) in August, it is now at 7. The snacks keep me from being hungry and in addition I have lost 35 pounds. I know enough about the Type 2 to be dangerous, but do feel doctors jump the gun when putting their patients on prescription drugs and insulin without giving diet and exercise a chance.

    Posted by Vicki |
  2. Does anybody sell such a snack (30 grams of soya beans and 75 grams of yogurt) ready-made? If so, where can I get one? If not,where does one buy soya beans and what kind of yogurt should I mix it with?

    Posted by Dantrella |
  3. Interesting, but what was their blood glucose after the snack?

    Posted by Kerri |
  4. Any other suggestions for such a snack? I am very lactose intolerant [no yogurt even] and do not tolerate soy either, but am open to any idea which will get my post meal glucose lower.

    Posted by Elaine Levine |
  5. It has been my experience that every doctor I know has or would prescribe diet before starting medication or insulin. I have never heard of going right to pills or insulin. Am wondering where Vicki got that information. A little knowledge can indeed be dangerous. I agree with you eating plan for the day. but are there enough carbs?

    Posted by granny Pat |
  6. @ Dantrella
    I don’t know about buying them already combined, but soya beans and soybeans are the same thing. They can be found in most supermarkets under the name “edemame”, which is Japanese, probably meaning soybeans. They are often in the frozen foods section. And I’d bet that any kind of yogurt would work, although Greek or Mediterranean style is lower in carbs than the big name or store brand varieties. Here in L.A. these can be found at Trader Joe’s as well as almost any other grocery store.

    Posted by Bruce |
  7. Did you read the study parameters? “researchers looked at 10 men and women . . . were compared over the course of two days.” Is that sufficient research for anyone to reach (and publish) conclusions?

    Posted by Brenda |
  8. I, too, think 10 people in a Research Study is too small a number to make a scientific determination, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the practice doesn’t have merit. One weight-loss doctor recommended a small amount of salmon before breakfast, which would also translate to a lower BG. Edamame would also be a good choice. The best scientific study would be to try the pre-meal protein snack and then check our BG to see if it works for us. (Canned salmon is wild-caught and, therefore, healthier than farm raised.)

    Posted by Diana Starr Daniels |
  9. For soybeans, you can get frozen edamame in the frozen veggie section of the supermarket.

    I don’t think you have to do exactly what was done in the study. It has long been known that a small high protein diet is more healthful than a big carb breakfast of cereal, toast or other sugary breads.
    Big agra decades ago did a hit job on the then-standard american breakfast of bacon eggs and toast, saying that cereal and milk was healthier. That was pure marketing, and we fell for it.

    How about a poached or boiled egg with yogurt? Pretty simple hi-pro meal, and easily lasts until lunch.

    Posted by Pat |
  10. The snacking before breakfast works really well for me. I eat 1/2 cup of cherrios with 1/4 cup of whole milk every morning about 6 am. At 10 am I eat 2 poached eggs on one slice of wheat bread. Then I snack on cheese and wheat thins at noon. I have a piece of fruit at 2 and a regular dinner at 5. I eat nothing after 6 pm. I am using exercise and diet to control Type 2 diabetes. My AC1 reading was over 300 (12+) in August, it is now at 7. The snacks keep me from being hungry and in addition I have lost 35 pounds. I know enough about the Type 2 to be dangerous, but do feel doctors jump the gun when putting their patients on prescription drugs and insulin without giving diet and exercise a chance.

    And I have found great article which helped me on my daily diet plans, including high protein diet which can be a big factor of weight loss.

    Here’s the website I was telling about. http://www.dietpromises.com/

    Posted by George |
  11. high protein, low carb snacks are easy…think about it…2tbs peanut butter, a handful of walnuts, 1 egg 1 english muffin…the list could go on and on. In the carbohydates addict diet they say that your body will secrete the amount of insulin needed to digest the previous meal. That makes since with this study. The subjects bodies were simply secreting enough insulin for the snack they had before breakfast…best way to keep bs down…many small meals!

    Posted by lisa |
  12. I can testfy to any numbers of Dr;’s I have been exposed to that drugs are the first thing out of their mouth to take care of BG. After 25+ yrs.of exposure to the medical profession, most have not a clue of how to treat you for BG control,except by drugs. You have to take control of your own health and find the help that will let you live There is a treatment center operated by a M.D.Dr. Julian Whitaker in Ca. I don’t think more than 40,000 treated sucessfully lie. NO DRUGS. I know because my Dr. is amazied at my life improvement.

    Posted by PhyllisJohnson |
  13. I am chiming in as well. There is definitely something happening here. My breakfast BS numbers with exception of bump from liver at 6:30 and flat line from 7:30 till noon around 166. I have nuts and piece of chicken or ham meat as pre breakfast snack. For breakfast I have ham and an egg and (I can hear ankles of socks on fat police curling down from here) a deep fried potato hash brown patty.

    I do not see the after meal bump that occurs at lunch and dinner on starlix while on am breakfast on a shot of humolog 75/25 - 21 units.

    I have been watching on my trick glucose download recording software received from a good manufacturer. I have a couple of weeks data I can share if necessary documenting BS numbers, insulin usage etc.

    I noticed some flack directed at our good doctors that I would offer is not really fair; as they are under gun to provide instant answer in a few minutes against a disease that consumes hours getting diet, pills and exercise all co-ordinated. In fact Doctor really requires all the data a hospital would achieve if your backside was in a ward. The next best thing is to persoanlly monitor and collect detailed glucose numbers for Doctor so he has something to work with.

    Posted by jim snell |
  14. This is very useful information. I can testfy to any numbers of Dr;’s I have been exposed to that drugs are the first thing out of their mouth to take care of BG. After 25+ yrs.of exposure to the medical profession, most have not a clue of how to treat you for BG control,except by drugs. You have to take control of your own health and find the help that will let you live There is a treatment center operated by a M.D.Dr. Julian Whitaker in Ca. I don’t think more than 40,000 treated sucessfully lie. NO DRUGS. I know because my Dr. is amazied at my life improvement.

    Posted by James |
  15. I have been a nurse for 35+ years. If you think that drugs and insulin are not some doctors first l
    line of defense, think again. When I was ddiagnosed in 1994 I was immediately started on oral

    Posted by Adelaide |

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