The order in which you eat your protein, vegetables and carbs impacts your blood sugar levels

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A research study has suggested eating vegetables and protein before carbohydrates in order to control insulin levels. The hierarchy in which the food plate is consumed has a big role in determining the post-meal glucose and insulin level in obese people, the study published in the Diabetes Care journal says.

A group of researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City have conducted the study.

The research study emphasizes on order of food eating, and holds that when vegetables and protein were eaten before the carbohydrates glucose levels were much lower at the 30, 60 and 120 minute checks — by about 29 percent, 37 percent and 17 percent, respectively. Insulin was also significantly lower when protein and vegetables were eaten first.

“Based on this finding, instead of saying ‘don’t eat that’ to their patients, clinicians might instead say, ‘eat this before that,’ says senior author Dr. Louis Aronne.

Dr Aronne who is also director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Center at Weill Cornell says that it is difficult to ask someone to cut down carbohydrate consumption and adds, “this study points to an easier way that patients might lower their blood sugar and insulin levels.”

Sharing this information on Instagram, nutritionist Pooja Makhija has said, “eat balanced but eat smart!” by adding “p.s – you don’t have to between the starter and the rest of your meal – eat them right after the other just the order matters.”

A normal Indian lunch comprises a portion of rice or roti, another portion of dal and other portions may comprise a vegetable or a non-vegetarian dish.

As per a research study, published in 2020 in the BMC Public Health journal, the average daily calorie consumption in India is below 2503 kcal/capita/day across all groups compared, except for the richest 5% of the population. The study says, the calorie share of whole grains is significantly higher than those of fruits, vegetables, legumes, meat, fish and eggs are significantly lower. In other words, the study found out that Indians tend to consume proteins and vegetables less.

To Pooja Makhija’s post, many of her followers have replied that this study needs to shed more light in context with Indian food. The overall tone of the queries is whether one should eat rice and dal after salad or salad before rice and dal.

One of her followers says, “Ur info n source may be ethical dear but this cant be applied to a standard indian meal which comprises of roti and rice . Probably the salad soup n chkn breast/fish fillet diet can follow this order . But eating our carbs in the end sounds bit awkward . A well chewed timely and balanced meal makes more sense to indian diet . May be u can add that to the disclaimer to avoid the above comments .. ur intentions r right as always but msg is getting mislead to ur largely indian audience.”

Patients with type 2 diabetes usually do finger prick test to check their glucose levels. If the blood sugar level is consistently high or frequently spikes, such patients risk complications of their disease.

In India there are a total of 74.2 millions diabetes patients in the 20-79 age group. The number of diabetes patients is likely to increase to 124.8 millions in 2045, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had informed the Lok Sabha in December 2021.

Healthy eating habits are considered to be an effective way to keep diabetes on check.

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