Salad before carbs? Here’s the ‘Food Sequencing’ Science and Your Health

Biochemist and author The Glucose Revolution Jessie Inchauspé says adjusting your diet can change your life.

Among the recommendations in the mainstream media and on Instagram, the founder of the “Glucose Goddess movement” says that the key is to eat your food in a certain order.

Eating salads first, before protein, and finishing your meal with starchy carbohydrates, says it will level your blood glucose points, and that’s better for you.

Scientifically speaking, does that make sense? It appears, yes, partially.

What is a Glucose Point?

The rise in glucose in the blood occurs after about 30-60 minutes after eating carbohydrates. Many things determine how long and how long the summit lasts. Among other things, what you eat with or before you eat, how much fiber is in your carbs, and your body’s ability to secrete and use the hormone insulin.

For people with certain medical conditions, any tactic to level the peak of glucose is very important. These conditions are:

  • diabetes

  • reactive hypoglycemia (a specific type of recurrent sugar stroke)

  • post-hypotension (after eating low blood pressure) or

  • if you have had bariatric surgery.

This is because high and long glucose points have a lasting and detrimental effect on many hormones and proteins, including those that cause inflammation. Inflammation is associated with a number of conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.

Different foods, different tips

Does eating different types of foods before carbohydrates affect glucose levels? It turns out, yes. This is also not new evidence.

Scientists have long known that high-fiber foods, such as salads, slow the emptying of the stomach (the speed at which food leaves the stomach). So high-fiber foods slow down glucose and other nutrients in the small intestine to be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Protein and fat also slow down the emptying of the stomach. The protein has the added benefit of stimulating a hormone called glucagon-like peptide 1 (or GLP1).

When food protein hits the intestinal cells, this hormone is secreted, and further slows the emptying of the stomach. The hormone also affects the pancreas, where it helps to secrete the hormone insulin, which is absorbed into your blood glucose.

In fact, drugs that mimic how GLP1 works (known as GLP1 receptor agonists) are a new and very effective class of medications for people with type 2 diabetes. They are making a real difference in improving their blood sugar control.

What about eating food in sequence?

Most scientific studies have shown that eating foods in a certain order causes a difference in glucose levels involves “pre-loading” fiber, fat, or protein before a meal. It is usually a liquid preload and lasts about 30 minutes longer than carbohydrates.

In one study, drinking a shake of whey protein 30 minutes earlier (than) was better than a meal of mashed potatoes to slow stomach emptying. Both options were better for lowering the glucose tip than drinking water before a meal.

Although this evidence shows that eating protein before carbohydrates helps reduce glucose spikes, the evidence for eating other foods separately and in succession is not so strong.

Inchauspé says that fiber, fat and protein do not mix in the stomach, either. But nutrients do not leave the stomach until they are mixed into fine particles.

It takes longer than puree to chop into a fine particle. Given that liquids drain faster than solids and that people tend to complete a full dinner in about 15 minutes, is it more beneficial to eat a meal in a certain sequence than you would like to eat? and everything mixed up on the plate?

Yes, but not very strong.

A small study tested five different meal sequences in 16 people without diabetes. Participants had to eat lunch within 15 minutes.

There was no general difference in the glucose tips between the groups that ate vegetables before meat and rice.

What is the message to take home?

It is especially important to look at these glucose points if you have diabetes or other medical conditions. If so, your doctor or dietitian will advise you on how to change your meals or food to avoid glucose overdose. Asking for food can be part of that advice.

For the rest, don’t get tied up trying to eat your meal in a certain order. But consider eliminating sugary drinks and adding fiber, protein, or fat to carbohydrates to slow stomach emptying and even out glucose points.

Leonie Heilbronn, Professor of Obesity and Metabolism at the University of Adelaide and team leader.

This article was republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


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