The Benefits Of Eating A Low-Carbohydrate Supper

| April 3, 2017

I wrote in an earlier blog post here how blood sugar control could be improved by eating a large breakfast and a small evening meal – the opposite to what most of us actually do. Now, new findings show it isn’t just the timing of total calorie intake that’s important, but also the time of day at which a high-carbohydrate meal is eaten. Men with impaired glucose metabolism do worse if they eat high- carbohydrate foods in the evening.

The study involved 29 middle-aged, overweight men, 11 of whom had fasting blood sugar levels in the “prediabetes” range (6 to 7 mmol/l, or 110 to I26 mg/dl).1 The other 18 men had normal fasting blood sugar results. All the men followed two different diet plans for four weeks each. They either consumed carbohydrate-rich foods before 1:30 pm then high-fat foods up to 10 pm, or high-fat foods in the morning and high-carbohydrate foods in the afternoon and evening.

The two diet plans were identical in nutritional terms, only the timings of the fat and carbohydrate intakes differed. The results showed that, for men with prediabetes, average blood sugar levels rose significantly when they were eating high-carbohydrate foods later in the day, but this effect was much less in the men not diagnosed as prediabetic. The scientists believe that this is due to the way our biological clocks alter the body’s response to eating carbs, by timing the secretion of hormones involved in blood sugar regulation.

So, the messages from this study are:

  • Following a low-carb diet is, as we already know, the best approach for healthy blood sugar control, whether or not you have diabetes or prediabetes.
  • If you are going to have the occasional high-carb meal or snack, do it early in the day when your body can handle it better.
  • Never eat a big, high-carb meal in the evening, particularly if your fasting blood sugar is in the prediabetic range.

And, if you enjoy a cup of coffee in the mornings, keep on drinking it. In my next blog post I tell you how caffeine could help to ward off dementia.

Wishing you the best of health,

Martin Hum
PhD DHD Nutritionist
for Real Diabetes Truth

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Bear in mind we are not addressing anyone’s personal situation and you should rely on this for informational purposes only. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.


1. Kessler K, Hornemann S, Petzke KJ et al. The effect of diurnal distribution of carbohydrates and fat on glycaemic control in humans: a randomized controlled trial. Sci Rep. 2017; 7:44170.

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