Eat the food in the right order
ᐅ Eat the food in the right order
ᐅ Start your meal with veggies
ᐅ All about carbs
ᐅ How to eat sweets?
In the last few years, various scientific papers reported that the order in which we eat our food can affect drastically our glucose levels.
In particular, a 2015 Cornell University study showed that eating food in a certain order -the same food- can reduce the glucose spike up to 73%, and the insulin released by up to 48%. In this study, the researchers gave the subject group the same meal in random order on different days:
Carbohydrate-first meal: carbohydrate (bread and orange juice), followed 10 min later by protein (chicken) and vegetables;
Carbohydrate-last meal: protein and vegetables, followed 10 min later by carbohydrate;
Mixed meal: all meal components together in a sandwich, each half-consumed over 10 min with a 10-min interval in between.
The researchers observed that, when the subjects ate the carbohydrate first, their glucose spiked higher and they released more insulin than when they ate the carbohydrate last.
Interestingly, when the subjects ate the sandwich (all food together), their glucose and insulin response was intermediary between the other two meal conditions.
This study highlights the importance of the order in which we eat our food, especially when it comes to carbohydrates. It seems that, when we eat carbohydrates first, our body releases more insulin to process them, which can lead to higher glucose levels. On the other hand, if we eat carbohydrates last, our body has more time to process them and our glucose levels stay more stable.
SO, WHAT'S THE RIGHT ORDER?
Science showed us that the right order is:
Fiber -vegetables- first
Protein and fiber later
Starches and sugars at last
Let’s see how these nutrients work.
Fiber is a substance that can’t be digested and is mainly found in vegetables. It has three main functions:
Reduces the action of alpha-amylase, the enzyme that breaks starch down into individual glucose molecules.
Slows down gastric emptying: food trickles slower when the fiber is present.
Creates a viscous mesh in the small intestine – this mesh makes it harder for glucose to make it through to the bloodstream. Through these mechanisms, fiber slows down the breakdown and the absorption of any glucose we eat after.
In simple words, fiber can slow down sugar absorption, so eating it at the beginning of the meal reduces the spikes during the meal and after.
Protein can be found in many foods, such as meat, fish, and eggs. Foods that contain protein often contain fat too.
Protein provides essential nutrients, including amino acids, that the body needs to function correctly. It also helps keep us full for longer and maintain stable glucose levels.
Fat has a significant role in our body because it helps us absorb some vitamins, is a source of energy, and has an anti-inflammatory role. Also, fat-rich foods slow down gastric emptying, so they help keep our blood sugar levels steadier.
STARCH AND SUGAR
Carbohydrates are molecules composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. There are two main types of carbohydrates: simple carbohydrates, which are also called simple sugars, and complex carbohydrates, which are also called starches.
Carbohydrates are an essential source of energy for the body. The body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which is then used for energy. Complex carbohydrates are broken down more slowly than simple ones to provide the body with a steadier supply of energy.
Carbohydrates are found in various foods, including bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, fruits, and vegetables.
Our body quickly absorbs starches and sugars, which are the main reason for the spikes. So, it’s better to have them at the end of the meal to not have big spikes during and after the meal.
Since we already have fiber and protein that help slow down digestion, we can put the carbohydrates at the end.
In conclusion: It is important to eat food in the right order to ensure that our glucose levels stay more stable.
Fiber and vegetables should be eaten first, followed by protein and fiber. Starches and sugars should be eaten last. This will help to keep glucose levels more stable and reduce the amount of insulin released by the body.