Intermittent fasting or calorie restriction: which is more effective in reducing blood sugar levels?

Verified on 04/27/2023 by PasseportSanté
Jeûne intermittent ou restriction calorique : lequel des deux est le plus efficace pour réduire son taux de glycémie ?

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the way the body uses glucose for energy, which over time can damage nerves and blood vessels. Blood sugar levels are high because the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t use insulin properly. Over 400 million people worldwide suffer from type 2 diabetes.

Differences between intermittent fasting and caloric restriction

Intermittent fasting involves eating at certain times and not eating at all during other periods of the day. This can help to reduce blood sugar levels, lose weight and improve overall health. There are several ways to fast intermittently, including alternating day fasting or the 5:2 diet.

Caloric restriction means reducing the number of calories consumed each day. This can obviously help you lose weight and improve your health, but it can also be difficult to follow in the long term.

The link between type 2 diabetes, intermittent fasting and caloric restriction

A study compared the effects of intermittent fasting and calorie restriction on blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Participants followed a 6-month diet in which they either practiced intermittent fasting or calorie restriction.

Both groups lost weight and saw improvements in blood sugar levels, however, the intermittent fasting group experienced greater improvements. Participants in this group also reported better quality of life and greater satisfaction with their less restrictive diet.

The study authors don’t fully explain the underlying mechanisms of intermittent fasting on type 2 diabetes, but point out that eating earlier in the day brings health benefits such as better 24-hour blood glucose control and improved insulin sensitivity.

Another explanation could lie in the fact that insulin levels are reduced during a fast and body fat reserves begin to break down, which is beneficial for delaying or preventing type 2 diabetes.

Intermittent fasting may be a viable alternative to caloric restriction for people with type 2 diabetes. Further research is needed to understand the long-term effects of intermittent fasting on type 2 diabetes and to determine the best protocols to follow.

Other past research shows that intermittent fasting can even reverse type 2 diabetes. One study even found that some participants in a research study were free of the disease after three months of fasting.