“Diabetics should save bread for last at mealtime to keep their blood sugar under control,” the Mail Online reports. A small study found that people with type 2 diabetes who saved their carbohydrates until the end of their meal were less likely to experience a sudden rise in their blood sugar (glucose) levels. The medical term for this spike in blood sugar levels is postprandial hyperglycaemia.
Postprandial hyperglycaemia is best avoided as not only can it make the day-to-day symptoms of diabetes worse, it has also been linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
It has been suggested that leaving carbohydrates until the end of a meal could slow the emptying of the stomach and give it a chance to digest the protein and vegetables first, which could help prevent a blood glucose spike. The researchers wanted to see whether this was true.
This study included just 16 people who ate the foods of their meal in different orders to test which order was most effective at lowering blood sugar and related hormones. They either ate carbohydrates first, carbohydrates last, or all nutrients together at the same time.
The researchers generally found that consuming carbohydrates last was better at lowering blood sugar levels and insulin secretion when compared to the other ways of eating carbohydrates.
While the results are interesting, the study was far too small to form the basis of any firm medical guidance. For now, it’s best to follow current advice, which is to consume a healthy diet and keep active to help you manage your blood sugar level. This will also help you control your weight and generally feel better.
This crossover trial investigated the optimal time to eat carbohydrates during a meal to lower blood glucose levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. It generally found that consuming carbohydrates last was better at lowering glucose levels and reducing insulin secretion when compared to having carbohydrates first or all nutrients together.
The researchers say that suggesting people with type 2 diabetes follow this advice may be an effective behavioural strategy to improve glucose levels after meals.