After eating the glucose level in our blood increases and this is dealt with by insulin. Unfortunately, in some people this mechanism fails to work and the glucose can reach dangerous levels. When this is caused by insulin resistance and a relative lack of insulin it is known as type II diabetes.
This type of diabetes can be managed with specific diets by avoiding certain foods that would cause a rapid increase in blood glucose levels. But, perhaps this need not be. The order that different types of food are eaten can also have an effect of the blood glucose levels.
Published in the journal Diabetes Care, a paper demonstrates that the order in which certain food groups are consumed can reduce post meal blood glucose levels.
Participants in the trial were given a meal consisting of bread and orange juice (carbohydrate) followed 15 minutes later by a chicken breast with salad and vegetables (protein and vegetables). Their blood was sampled just before the meal and 30, 60 and 120 minutes after. A week later they were given the same meal but with the chicken and vegetables first.
Eating the protein first significantly reduced their blood glucose levels, with a reduction of 28.6%, 36.7% and 16.8% at time 30, 60 and 120 minutes after eating.
The study was only small, with 11 subjects, and the researchers say they would also like to compare the blood glucose levels over a longer time period but that being said, they hope that this may lead some doctors to recommend an “eat this before this” rather than a “don’t eat this” type of diet for sufferers.