Carb early but not often

*if you’re going to carb, that is



The Sofer study was uniquely insightful in that they compared 3 carb-rich meals per day with the same amount of carbs but restricted to 1 meal.  Both groups ate 3 times per day.  Tl;dr: one carb meal is modestly better than three even when total carbs are controlled.  Since the carb-meal happened to be dinner, #fakenews reported that “carbs at night” are superior… but we saw right through that – the real conclusion was carb frequency not carb timing.




If they wanted to conclude something about carb timing, they should’ve controlled frequency; ie, carbs at breakfast vs. carbs at dinner.  3 meals per day in both groups.  But they didn’t.

And here on the blog I’ve tried to make the argument [many times] that calories should be front-loaded, and if you’re gonna carb: carb early but not often.

Early” to match the circadian variation in glucose tolerance and to co-entrain central & peripheral circadian clocks.

Not often” because of the Sofer study.





The effect of diurnal distribution of carbohydrates and fat on glycaemic control in humans (Kessler et al., 2017)


4-week crossover study, where carbs were served mostly in the morning (HC/HF) or mostly at night (HF/HC).  Protein, carbs, and and calories were controlled.


Those who ate carbs at night also had on average 8% higher daily blood glucose averages.  We’ve seen this before: Dawn PheNOMNOMNOM and “Afternoon Diabetes” and Nutrient Partitioning.


Overall, changes in body weight between the groups were minimal because this was not a weight loss study: calories, carbs, and protein were controlled.  The only variable was carb timing, and similar to total calorie intake: earlier is better.


That’s all.


calories proper


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