According to a small study, the order in which diabetics eat their food might affect their insulin and glucose levels.
It seems that something so seemingly unimportant as the order in which food is eaten could greatly improve the life of type 2 diabetics who also suffer from obesity.
The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the Weill Cornell Medical College and it was performed on 11 subjects, who fitted the desired profile of type 2 diabetes, for which they were undergoing treatment with metformin, and a certain level of obesity.
The meal that the study was based on was one that would include all the necessary food groups and that would also be a real choice popular among the patients. And so, the meal included ciabatta bread, as a source of carbohydrates, chicken breast as a source of protein and lettuce and tomato salad and a regular low fat dressing, steamed broccoli with butter and orange juice as a source of vitamins.
The aim of the study was to assess the effects that changing the order in which the food is eaten, rather than excluding a certain food group at all, as carbohydrates are usually extremely difficult for patients to give up.
“Carbohydrates raise blood sugar, but if you tell someone not to eat them — or to drastically cut back — it’s hard for them to comply. (…) This study points to an easier way that patients might lower their blood sugar and insulin levels.” says Weill Cornell Clinical Medicine Professor, Dr. Louis Aronne.
In the first phase of the study, the order in which the food was eaten was carbohydrates, followed by a 15 minutes break and then the vitamines, proteins and fats. In the second phase, that took place a week after the first, the order was changed to protein, vitamins and fat first, followed by a 15 minute break and then the carbohydrates.
In both phases, every patient’s glucose levels were assessed every 30, 60 and 120 minutes after every meal, so that they may get a complete picture of the entire situation.
The difference in results between the two phases was evident, as it seems that if the second phase order showed much lower glucose levels than that from the first phase. Specifically, at 30, 60 and 120 minutes after the meal, the levels were 29%, 37% and respectively 17% lower than their equivalents from the first phase.
Their findings reveal that there is great potential in the “eat this before that” method, that should be much easier for type 2 diabetes patients to apply on a daily basis, so that they may be able to lower their blood sugar levels in an effortless painless way. Furthermore, it is even possible that they would require lower levels of insulin as well if this effect keeps up.
Therefore, this measure shows great potential, as it could change the lives of type 2 diabetes patients in a dramatic way. Further research will have to be conducted so that the effects of this measure could be assessed in a more extensive way and so that a series of guidelines can be developed.
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