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Eating Carbs at Dinner Lowers Weight and Inflammatory Markers

Participants who ate carbohydrates mostly at dinner showed lower hunger scores compared with those who ate carbohydrates throughout the day….

Researchers also noted better weight, waist circumference and body fat measures and biochemical and inflammatory markers in those who ate carbohydrates at dinner than those in the control group. The findings appear in Obesity and in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases.

According to the new research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the diet influences secretion patterns of hormones responsible for hunger and satiety, as well as hormones associated with metabolic syndrome, which could help dieters persist over the long run, and reduce risk.

Lead researcher Sigal Sofer randomly assigned 78 police officers to either the experimental diet (carbohydrates at dinner) or a control weight loss diet (carbohydrates throughout the day). Out of the total only 63 subjects finished the six-month program.

The researchers examined the experimental diet’s effect on the secretion of three hormones: leptin, considered to be the satiety hormone, whose level in the blood is usually low during the day and high during the night; ghrelin, considered the hunger hormone, whose level in the blood is usually high during the day and low during the night; and adiponectin, considered the link between obesity, insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome, whose curve is low and flat in obese people.

"The idea came about from studies on Muslims during Ramadan, when they fast during the day and eat high-carbohydrate meals in the evening, that showed the secretion curve of leptin was changed," Prof. Madar, Chief Scientist at Israel’s Ministry of Education, said.

At the same time this dietary pattern led to lower hunger scores, and better anthropometric (weight, abdominal circumference and body fat), biochemical (blood sugar, blood lipids) and inflammatory outcomes compared to the control group.

"The findings lay the basis for a more appropriate dietary alternative for those people who have difficulty persisting in diets over time," said Prof. Madar. "The next step is to understand the mechanisms that led to the results obtained," he added.

The research has been published in two continuous papers Obesity and in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, Sept. 2012 (ANI)