Eating Carbs Only at Dinner-Time Reduces Hunger and Weight
During Ramadan, a month of fasting is observed by Muslims throughout the world, and at this time, they eat meals which are high in carbohydrate only in the evening. A study found that this dietary pattern led to a shift in body hormones which influenced satiety and hunger. This inspired scientists, led by Sigal Sofer at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, to conduct an experiment involving diet manipulation to reduce weight.
In the new study, Sofer recruited 78 police officers and assigned them randomly into two groups, where one group consumed an experimental diet, consuming high carbohydrates at dinnertime and a control group who consumed a weight loss diet which included eating carbs throughout the day.
The researchers evaluated the diets’ effects on three hormones, including leptin (a satiety hormone), ghrelin (a hunger hormone), and adinopectin (a hormone that links obesity, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome). Ghrelin, the hunger hormone is usually high at daytime and low at night, but in those who consumed the experimental diet, the hormone peaked only in the evening. On the other hand, leptin, which signals satiety and is usually low at daytime and high at night, was found to increase more during the day and decrease towards late daytime. Adinopectin, which is usually a flat line for obese people, became elevated. At the end of six months, the high carb diet at dinner also led to lower hunger scores, reduced body fat, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and lower inflammatory markers compared to the control diet.
The investigators believe that their findings suggest that taking high carbohydrate meals in the evening can lower the risk for developing diabetes and heart disease due to obesity, and could be a good alternative for people who have difficulty in maintaining a weight loss diet.
Hebrew University of Jerusalem. New research: Limiting carbs to dinner-time increases satiety, reduces risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. ScienceDaily.