Swapping porridge for a cheese omelette stops spikes in blood sugars and makes you feel less hungry throughout the day, a new study found.
The low-carb high-fat breakfast could help people control their weight by reducing the desire to gorge on junk food later on in the day.
Canadian researchers found the breakfast can help type 2 diabetics control their blood sugar levels throughout the day and perhaps also reduce other diabetes complications.
And the findings has implications for others trying to avoid sugar spikes or control their hunger too.
Associate Professor Jonathan Little at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan’s School of Health and Exercise Sciences said: “The large blood sugar spike that follows breakfast is due to the combination of pronounced insulin resistance in the morning in people with type 2 diabetes and because typical Western breakfast foods – cereal, oatmeal, toast and fruit – are high in carbohydrates.”
The study involved participants eating the same lunch and dinner but had porridge – oatmeal – and fruit on one day and a cheese and celery omelette on the other.
They wore a continuous glucose monitor, a small device that attaches to your abdomen and measures glucose every five minutes, was used to measure blood sugar spikes across the entire day.
Participants also reported ratings of hunger, fullness and a desire to eat something sweet or savoury.
The low-carbohydrate high-fat breakfast completely prevented the blood sugar spike after breakfast and this had enough of an effect to lower overall glucose exposure and improve the stability of glucose readings for the next 24 hours.
Prof Little said: “We expected that limiting carbohydrates to less than 10 per cent at breakfast would help prevent the spike after this meal.
“But we were a bit surprised that this had enough of an effect and that the overall glucose control and stability were improved.
“We know that large swings in blood sugar are damaging to our blood vessels, eyes, and kidneys.
“The inclusion of a very low-carbohydrate high-fat breakfast meal in type 2 diabetes patients may be a practical and easy way to target the large morning glucose spike and reduce associated complications.
“The results of our study suggest potential benefits of altering macronutrient distribution throughout the day so that carbohydrates are restricted at breakfast with a balanced lunch and dinner rather than consuming an even distribution and moderate amount of carbohydrates throughout the day.”
He added participants noted that pre-meal hunger and their cravings for sweet foods later in the day tended to be lower if they ate the low-carb breakfast.
And here was no difference in blood sugar levels in both groups later in the day, suggesting the effect for reducing overall post-meal glucose spikes can be attributed to the breakfast responses.
There was no evidence a low-carb breakfast worsened glucose responses to lunch or dinner, he added.
This change in diet maybe a healthy step for anybody, even those who are not living with diabetes.
He said: “You are going to avoid the largest spike in glucose that you have in the day and you may feel less hungry and less likely to eat junk food later on in the day.
“The results might have applicability to people without diabetes, anyone looking at trying to improve their blood sugar levels or control hunger throughout the days, perhaps a low-carb high fast breakfast might be a relatively simple strategy that you can employ to help optimise your diet.”
The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.