The Dangers of Skipping Meals When You Have Diabetes

Skipping meals is no shortcut to weight loss or blood sugar control. Instead, enjoy seven rewards of eating regularly.

It's tempting -- and even sounds logical -- to skip meals: You're busy, you're not hungry, you're trying to lose weight, or your blood glucose is too high. Skipping meals, however, may actually increase your blood glucose and cause you to gain weight. Here are seven rewards of eating regularly scheduled meals when you live with diabetes.

Reward 1: Improve fasting blood glucose numbers.

During sleep, when we're not eating, the liver sends more glucose into the blood to fuel the body. For many people with type 2 diabetes, the liver doesn't realize there is already more than enough glucose present. "Your morning (fasting) blood sugars have much more to do with your liver and hormonal functions than what you ate for dinner last night," says Kathaleen Briggs Early, Ph.D., R.D., CDE, assistant professor of biochemistry and nutrition at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in Yakima, Washington. Eating a carb-containing breakfast tells the liver to stop releasing glucose. And that will help lower high fasting numbers, Early says.

Real-life example: Until recently, if Cheryl Simpson's blood glucose meter flashed a high reading before breakfast, she might delay eating until midafternoon in an attempt to lower that number. Now Cheryl, 53, PWD type 2, won't leave home without eating. Her blood glucose numbers have improved. "Eating breakfast makes it a whole lot easier to make good food choices later on," she says.

Tip: Pack a grab-and-go breakfast, such as instant oatmeal, Greek yogurt, or a healthful meal-replacement bar, in case you miss the meal at home.

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