The results? Eating dinner a simple three hours earlier demonstrated positive effects on blood sugar levels. The group that ate an earlier dinner showed lowered blood sugar levels throughout the night, compared to the later group—even when the meals were the same. They also noted that in the group that ate dinner later, the average blood sugar level three hours after eating was higher.
Researchers further found that the earlier dinner group had a “more significant” decrease in MAGE—which stands for Mean Amplitude of Glycemic Excursions and serves as a measure of glycemic variability. When compared to the later group, on day two the early diners also reported feeling a greater “desire to eat, capacity to eat, and hunger” late at night (around 11 p.m.).
According to the researchers, this is the first study to conclude that eating dinner earlier in the evening can have a positive impact on glycemic control that evening and over the next day. Helping to manage glycemic control is beneficial for overall health, and while things like being conscious of the glycemic index of the foods we eat can help, this study is adding to knowledge of how timing impacts blood sugar, too.