A new study conducted by the Weill Cornell Medical College has found that the order in which you eat your food is important for those with type 2 diabetes, especially if they’re obese. By eating proteins and vegetables first, and carbohydrates last, a person will successfully lower their post-meal blood sugar levels and insulin levels.
Dr. Louis Aronne, principal investigator and professor of clinical medicine and metabolic research over at Weill Cornell Medical College (New York City), gave a statement saying that “We’re always looking for ways to help people with diabetes lower their blood sugar. We rely on medicine, but diet is an important part of this process, too”.
The professor went on to express his disappointment that research has shown it’s very difficult for health experts to change the eating habits of patients. One particular problem is when they tell someone to cut down on eating carbohydrates, or eliminate them from their diet altogether. Carbohydrates are well known for raising blood sugar, but patients almost never manage to comply with this request.
It’s exactly the reason why this new study is so important for patients and doctors alike – it’s a much easier way to get patients with type 2 diabetes to lower their blood sugar levels, as well as their insulin levels, since they wouldn’t have to change the things they eat as much as the order in which they eat them.
Keeping blood sugar levels in check is extremely important for people with type 2 diabetes as a spike in the wrong direction increases their changes of developing complications such as heart disease, which in time can even lead to their deaths.
For their study, published earlier this week, on Tuesday (June 23, 2015), in the journal Diabetes Care, Dr. Aronne and his team looked at eleven (11) people who were both obese and had type 2 diabetes. They were all taking an oral drug known as “metformin”, which helps control blood sugar levels.
The subjects were served typical Western meals that included a good mix of protein, vegetables, carbohydrates and fat. On their plates they had chicken breasts, steamed broccoli with butter, and a salad with tomatoes, lettuce and low-fat dressing. Next to their plates they also had ciabatta bread and a glass of orange juice.
Subjects had to eat this meal twice, once at the beginning of the study, and once a week later. The researchers measured their blood sugar levels in the morning of both days, right before breakfast.
The first time they were served the meal, the subjects were told to eat carbohydrates first, then wait 15 minutes before eating protein, vegetables and fat. The researchers looked at their blood sugar levels 30, 60 and 120 minutes after they finished their meal.
A week later, when they were served the meal for the second time, the subjects were told to eat protein, vegetables and fat first, then wait 15 minutes before eating carbohydrates. The researchers check their blood sugar levels as the same intervals as the previous week.
The results were that by eating carbohydrates last, subjects caused their blood sugar levels to be roughly 29 percent (29%) lower after 30 minutes, 37 percent (37%) lower after 60 minutes, and 17 percent (17%) lower after 120 minutes. And insulin levels were significantly lower as well.
The researchers concluded that clinics should not instruct people to not eat something, but rather tell them to “eat this before that”, and are currently working on follow-up tests.