Home Diabetes and Endocrinology Timing of Carb Intake During Meal Affects Glucose Levels

Timing of Carb Intake During Meal Affects Glucose Levels

Eating protein, vegetables, and fat before carbohydrates might help diabetes control

WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) — The order in which individuals with type 2 diabetes eat their food can affect their blood glucose levels, according to a small study published in the July issue of Diabetes Care.

The study involved 11 people who were overweight/obese and had type 2 diabetes treated with metformin. The participants were given a typical Western diet meal, consisting of a variety of vegetables, protein, carbohydrates, and fat. The study included two meals eaten one week apart. For the first meal, the researchers recorded blood glucose levels in the morning before food. Participants were instructed to eat carbohydrates first, followed by protein, vegetables, and fat 15 minutes later. The researchers checked the participants’ blood glucose 30, 60, and 120 minutes after their meal. A week later, the process was repeated; however, the patients reversed the order in which they ate their food.

The researchers found that after eating carbohydrates last, the participants’ blood glucose levels were 28.9 percent lower after 30 minutes, 36.7 percent lower after 60 minutes, and 16.8 percent lower after two hours. Insulin levels were also much lower when people had protein and vegetables first, the study revealed.

“Based on this finding, instead of saying ‘Don’t eat that’ to their patients, clinicians might instead say, ‘Eat this before that,'” principal investigator Louis Aronne, M.D., a professor of metabolic research and of clinical medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, said in a college news release. “While we need to do some follow-up work, based on this finding, patients with type 2 might be able to make a simple change to lower their blood sugar throughout the day, decrease how much insulin they need to take, and potentially have a long-lasting, positive impact on their health.”

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