Now you can have your cake and eat it too. As long as you eat it after your protein and veggies, says a new study.
A pilot study published in Diabetes Care found that the order in which you eat your macro-nutrients during your meal – proteins, carbohydrates and fats – has a direct impact on your after-meal blood sugar, insulin response and weight gain.
You Are What You Eat – AND HOW You Eat It
Eleven type 2 diabetics were split into two groups, and were fed the same foods and the same number of calories for two weeks. However, during the first week, one group was given their protein and veggies to eat before having their carbs (ciabatta bread and orange juice) while the second group was given their carbs to eat before their protein and veggies. During week 2, the groups switched and ate in the reverse food order from week 1.
The researchers found that blood sugar levels were significantly lower when people ate protein and veggies before their carbs. In fact, eating carbs last reduced the amount of sugar absorption by 74 percent, two hours after the meal. After-meal insulin release was also significantly lower when carbs were eaten last, which has an effect on fat storage and ultimate weight gain.
This study confirms earlier findings from a previous study, which found that people who consumed whey protein before a meal had lower after-meal blood sugar and insulin levels than people who ate the same meal without the whey protein appetizer.
Further research still needs to be carried out; however, the findings suggest that weight loss involves more than just what you’re eating and how much – what you eat first seems to also be an important factor in the weight loss equation.
Food Order May Help with Weight Loss & Better Health
While these results are promising, it’s important to realize that they still don’t give free license to indulge in any old processed carb foods that you may have a hankering for – whether you eat your fries before or after your burger will not be enough to cancel out their nasty weight gain effects.
However, practically speaking, this research does suggest that just a few simple tweaks to your daily healthy lifestyle choices – choosing to eat your brown rice after your chicken and salad, or opting to save all of your carbs for dessert – can already start to tip the scales in your favor, moving you ever more steadily towards your goal weight and better health.