Time is everything. This is true for everything: food, health, friendship, relationship, education, and everything that you can think of. There is a right time for almost everything in life. In the case of food, there is a right time for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and supper. Recently, it has been found that there is a right time to eat carbs (think whole-wheat bread or pasta; whole grains like oats, quinoa, barley, bulgur; lentils, beans, and dry peas; and brown rice!) as well. It’s not before or during meals but at the end of the meal.
What The Research Says
A new study has been published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, and it says that eating carbs at the end of the meal is a simple and very reliable strategy to keep the levels of blood glucose steady. We all know by now that maintaining our blood sugar levels is a sign of good health and a good weight.
This particular study was led by Louis J. Aronne, MD, FACP, Sanford Weill Professor of Metabolic Research at the Comprehensive Weight Control center at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian. The study was inspired by the lack of scientific data on carbs about how the time of eating carbs in relation to the rest of the meal can affect blood sugar levels. Dr. Aronne’s team of researchers were from Weill Cornell, Columbia University, and Boston Children’s Hospital. The study was conducted after recruiting 16 middle-aged adults who were suffering from type 2 diabetes. They were provided with the same meal that consisted of protein, vegetables, and a carbohydrate on each of the three separate days that they were recruited for. The meals were timed in one of the three ways on each day:
1. Carbs were followed 10 minutes later by protein and vegetables.
2. Protein and vegetables were followed 10 minutes later by carbohydrates.
3. Protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables were all served at the same time.
Each participant’s blood sugar levels were measured just before the meals and then, after 30 minutes and again after 180 minutes.
What Were The Results?
The results of the study were utterly surprising. It was found that eating carbohydrates at the end of the meal resulted in lowering the blood sugar levels by 53.8 percent compared to eating carbs before the rest of the meal. When everything was served at the same time, the blood sugar levels dropped by 40.4 percent. This obviously meant that eating carbs after the rest of the meal had a significant impact in lowering the blood glucose levels in people.
What About Insulin?
The researchers noted that insulin levels were also lower in people who saved their carbs until the end of their meals. Insulin is essential to metabolize the blood sugar and this means that eating carbs after the rest of the meal requires less insulin in the body. Type 2 diabetes is often characterized by the inability of the body to utilize insulin properly to metabolize blood sugar and this results in taking medicines to help in lowering the blood sugar levels after having meals. This ultimately might prove that the structure of carbs-last meal might even reduce the dose of medicines including insulin for the management of type 2 diabetes.
Benefits Of Carbs-Last Meal Structure
Other than the possibility of reducing the dose of insulin and other medicines for the management of type 2 diabetes, the carbs-last meal structure might prove to be helpful in other ways as well. So, pass that bread basket around!
Higher levels of insulin are associated with weight gain and low insulin will surely prove to be helpful if you are trying to avoid packing on your pounds. It will also correspond to higher glucagon-like peptide 1 levels associated with weight loss, and this meal structure might help incredibly with weight management even in non-diabetic people.
Although further study is required in this aspect, there is no harm in trying this new method of having your meals and checking if you are doing good to your health.