Blood sugar spikes occur when breakfast is skipped: Study

Blood sugar breakfastBy now you know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, well it’s even more so if you’re diabetic. New research outlines that diabetics are at risk of blood sugar spikes if they skip breakfast.

Previously the effects of skipping breakfast for diabetics were unclear, but researchers at Tel Aviv University have now uncovered the hazards. The research suggests when diabetics skip breakfast, not only do they endure spikes in blood sugar, but the effects can last for the remainder of the day.


“Despite the fact that many studies have previously demonstrated the benefits of a high-caloric breakfast for weight loss and to regulate the glucose metabolism, very little was known regarding the effect of skipping breakfast on glycemic spikes after meals throughout the entire day,” said professor Daniela Jakubowics.

“It is quite remarkable that, for type-2 diabetic individuals, the omission of breakfast is associated with a significant increase in all-day blood sugar spikes and of HbA1C, which represents average blood glucose levels over the preceding three months.”

For the researcher, 22 type 2 diabetics consumed the same calories over two days. The meal consisted of milk, tuna, bread and a chocolate breakfast bar for breakfast and lunch. One on day they consumed both meals, and on the second day they fasted until noon.

Jakubowics added, “We theorized that the omission of breakfast would not be healthy, but it was surprising to see such a high degree of deterioration of glucose metabolism only because the participants did not eat breakfast.”

Glucose spikes were much higher after lunch and dinner on the day when breakfast was skipped as opposed to when the participants enjoyed breakfast. Jakubowics continued, “This means that reducing the amount of starch and sugars in lunch and dinner will have no effect on reducing elevated glucose levels if diabetic individuals also skip breakfast.”

Researchers believe the spike in glucose by skipping breakfast occurs because pancreatic cells lose their “memory” from dinner and the next day’s lunch. Pancreatic beta cells are responsible for producing insulin. This loss of memory makes the pancreatic beta cells forget how to complete their role and in order to recover an increase in insulin becomes the result.


Jakubowics concluded, “In light of our study, we highly recommend that type-2 diabetics not skip breakfast, because it causes major damage to the beta cell function and leads to high sugar levels, even if they don’t overeat at lunch and dinner.”

The findings were published in Diabetes Care.


Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.