Our bodies are magnificent machines.
Not in the robotic sense, just in how they interact with both their environment as well as the food we put into them.
Encouraging new research is signaling the order in which our food is eaten might actually have an effect on our blood sugar levels. This research comes to us from the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York.
What the researchers theorized was that if you save eating your carbs until after you eat protein and fiber it can actually keep your blood sugar from spiking too high.
Kind of like if your body was a computer. Instead of trying to open tons of windows all at once, you’d wait for it to warm up to start making it do “heavy work.”
Of course, if you reverse the order, it means you’ll see your blood sugar spike initially, and you won’t be able to get it under control by eating other food types.
So, there’s that too.
So, who does this benefit really?
Well, anyone who wants to keep normalized insulin levels.
However, it’s especially useful for people who already have a tough time keeping blood sugar under control, like those suffering from Type-II diabetes and who are already obese.
And, since approximately 29 million Americans are believed to suffer from diabetes, this information could definitely shake things up, in a positive way, of course.
Dr. Louis Aronne, who was the study’s senior author, said, “When we saw the result, we were really encouraged that this is something that could potentially benefit people. “
The researchers had already noted when people drank whey shakes before a meal it kept their blood sugar levels relatively even without any spikes in insulin that were all that concerning.
But, what they weren’t sure of was how the order in which foods were consumed might affect blood sugar.
Reuters, who cited the original research panel from Diabetes Journal , wrote:
The researchers recruited 11 people with type 2 diabetes who were all overweight or obese. They were also taking a drug called metformin, which helps to control blood sugar.
The participants all fasted for 12 hours overnight before consuming a 628 calorie meal with protein, carbohydrates and fat.
One week, they consumed the carbohydrates (ciabatta bread and orange juice) first. Then they ate skinless grilled chicken, a small salad and buttered steamed broccoli 15 minutes later.
The participants ate the same meal a week later, but the order of the foods was reversed, with the salad and broccoli first, then the chicken, then the carbs.
The researchers also took blood samples before the meals and 30, 60 and 120 minutes afterward.
When the participants ate vegetables and proteins first, their blood sugar levels were about 29 percent lower 30 minutes after starting the meal, compared to when they ate the carbs first. At 60 and 120 minutes after participants began eating, blood sugar levels were 37 percent and 17 percent lower, respectively, compared to when the carbs came first.
“It’s possible what this is doing is delaying or tempering how fast the carbohydrates get absorbed,” said Dr. Sethu Reddy, chief of the Adult Diabetes Section at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.
“I think certainly it’s an interesting study that says eating a good salad before your meal may help with glucose absorption,” said Reddy, who was not involved with the new study.
Now, their evidence isn’t conclusive.
For one, the researchers don’t know what happens to blood sugar levels after 2 hours, which is an important time frame to consider when it comes to keeping your hormones in check.
Plus, they’re not really sure how this works.
From what their research shows, it indicates eating food low on the glycemic can somehow affect the absorption of carbs down the road.
But, they’re only now getting clued in that and more research needs to continue to understand the exact mechanism behind it.
Now, given the researchers still don’t know exactly how this all works, they do say something I’m keen to agree with.
If you want to enjoy some “bad” foods here and there (seriously, here and there) then definitely make sure they’re coming in after you eat your proteins and your fibrous foods.
And, if you’ve been reading my articles long enough, you can probably guess another reason I recommend eating this way.
If you fill up on nutrient dense foods high in protein and fiber (along with healthy fats), it means you’ll have less room to binge on unhealthy foods later on.
It’s just that simple.
Protein especially helps you feel satisfied, and so it’ll kill the desire to pig out on foods you know you shouldn’t eat.
So, make sure to load up on the chicken and broccoli before touching your fruit juice and other high carb foods.