The Case for a Breakfast Feast
“We observed that the time of the meal is more important than what you eat
and how much you eat — it’s more important than anything else in regulating metabolism,” Dr. Jakubowicz said, attributing that to the body’s biological clocks.
“If you give a healthy individual a big bolus of glucose in the morning, the blood glucose might stay high one or two hours before
coming back to normal,” said Dr. Satchidananda Panda, a professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego.
This seems to be hard-wired.”
Having the largest meal in the morning appears to have advantages for weight control compared with having a large meal in the evening, she said, since the digestive process and the action of insulin, the pancreatic hormone
that the body uses to process the sugars in carbohydrates and store glucose, appear to be at their peak performance early in the day.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the latest study found that those who supplemented three meals a day with snacks tended to gain weight over
time, while those who ate only one or two meals a day tended to lose weight, even compared with those who just ate three meals a day.
“You take that same normal healthy individual and give them the same bolus of glucose late at night,
and now the pancreas is sleeping — literally — and cannot produce enough insulin, and blood glucose will stay high up to three hours.” Doctors once called this “evening diabetes,” he said.
In earlier experiments in mice, Dr. Panda and his colleagues found
that when the animals were given unlimited access to a high-fat diet — “the equivalent of humans eating only ice cream, cheese and nachos” — they became obese in nine or 10 weeks, and developed insulin resistance or diabetes and high cholesterol a few weeks later.