This great article from Diabetes Self-Management reports on research which suggests that taking a day off from eating (which means just eating 500 calories a day for women or 600 calories that day for men) is great for people with pre-diabetes and in some cases has been shown to help them avoid the onset of diabetes.
Periodic fasting has been associated with lower rates of insulin resistance (a key element of Type 2 diabetes) and actually lower cholesterol over a long period of time. It’s best to try to get those 500-600 calories per day in the form of super-healthy vegetables, whole grains, or a vegetable soup– those choices will provide the most health benefits and have lots of fiber to help keep you feeling full.
Currently, there’s no evidence in people with diabetes that show the benefits of fasting, but it certainly makes sense that the same improvement in insulin resistance would apply. As the article suggests, taking an occasional fast day might be a great way to combat the excesses of the big meals of the holidays coming up.
Be sure to read the full article though because fasting (or drastic calorie reduction) for people with diabetes requires some planning. One thing to be VERY careful about however is that if you’re on insulin or any drug that might cause hypoglycemia, you want to be sure to talk to your physician and/or diabetes educator before embarking on a fast day.