For Glycemia: It Is Better to Eat Salad First
The order in which we eat our meal influences the blood sugar: better is vegetables and proteins first, then starch.
Why it matters
The content of the plate is one thing, but the order in which it is tasted is another: according to a research of the journal Diabetes Care, diabetics would be better to begin their meal with vegetables and proteins and End up with carbohydrates to better control their blood sugar.
The amount and type of carbohydrates consumed influence blood glucose levels.LaNutrition.fr advises diabetics to avoid or limit foods with a high glycemic index (GI), such as white bread, pasta or sugary drinks. Indeed, these foods rapidly elevate the level of glucose in the blood, unlike those that have a lower glycemic index.
In this article, researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York tested the effect of the order of foods of a Western type meal on blood sugar levels. For this small pilot study, they recruited 11 people with type 2 diabetes who were obese or overweight.
Participants ate for 12 hours before consuming a 628 calorie meal with protein, carbohydrates (ciabatta bread and orange juice) and lipids. One week they consumed carbohydrates first, then grilled chicken without skin, a small salad and steamed broccoli with butter. A week later, participants ate the same meal in reverse order, with the salad and broccoli first, then the chicken and finally the carbohydrates. The researchers collected blood samples before the meal, then 30 min, 60 min and 120 min after.
Results: When participants ate vegetables and protein first, their blood sugar level was 29% lower 30 minutes after starting the meal than when carbohydrates were first. At 60 and 120 min after the start of the meal, blood sugar levels were still 37% and 17% lower, respectively, if vegetables and proteins were placed first.
The researchers hypothesis is that the absorption of carbohydrates is slowed down by eating vegetables and proteins that would slow down the release of sugars into the bloodstream. The results are particularly interesting for diabetics who have to control their blood sugar level. The study suggests that one can afford to eat a little white bread by being diabetic provided to do it at the end of the meal… We can better control and even reverse diabetes by modifying our diet, as with a paleo diet, or a low-calorie diet.
Shukla AP, Iliescu RG, Thomas CE, Aronne LJ. Food Order Has a Significant Impact on Postprandial Glucose and Insulin Levels. Diabetes Care. 2015 Jul; 38 (7): e98-9. Doi: 10.2337 / dc15-0429.