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Control glucose spikes through 'Food sequencing'

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Control glucose spikes through Food sequencing
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Jessie Inchauspé, a biochemist and author of the Glucose Revolution, says that changing ones diet can change their life.

In her recommendations in the mainstream media and on Instagram, the founder of the "Glucose Goddess Movement" says it is important to eat your diet in a particular order.

According to her, eating food in the order of salads first, followed by proteins and ending the meal with starchy carbohydrates, the spikes in the blood glucose level can be flattened, which in the long run will be beneficial fro the body.

Glucose spike, an overview

30-60 minutes after having carbohydrates, a glucose spike occurs in the body. How high a peak is and how long it lasts is determined by various factors including what was eaten with or before the carbohydrate, the amount of fiber in carbohydrates, and your body's ability to secrete and use the hormone insulin.

For people who have the certain medical conditions, tactics that will help to flatten the spike in glucose is important. These conditions include:

• diabetes

• reactive hypoglycaemia (a particular type of recurring sugar crash)

• postprandial hypotension (low blood pressure after eating) or

• if you've had bariatric surgery.

This is due to the fact that because high and prolonged glucose spikes have lasting and detrimental impacts on many hormones and proteins, including those that trigger inflammation. Inflammation has been linked to a number of conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.

Different foods, different spikes

The question that arises is whether eating different food types before carbs affect glucose spikes. The answer would be affirmative, adding that this is not new evidence either.

Scientists have long known that high-fiber foods, such as salads, cause slow gastric emptying (the rate at which food is expelled from the stomach). Therefore, high fiber foods slow down the supply of glucose and other nutrients to the intestines for absorption into the bloodstream.

Proteins and fats also slow gastric emptying. Protein has the extra advantage of stimulating a hormone called glucagon-like-peptide 1 (or GLP1). When protein from your diet hits the cells in your intestines, this hormone is secreted, slows down gastric emptying. The hormone also affects the pancreas where it helps secretion of the hormone insulin that mops up the glucose in your blood.

In fact, drugs that mimic how GLP1 works (known as GLP1 receptor agonists) are a new and highly effective drug for people with type 2 diabetes, which makes a real difference in controlling their blood sugar.

Perks of eating food in sequence

Most scientific research into whether eating in a particular order changes glucose spikes involves "preloading" a fiber, fat, or protein before a meal. Normally, the preload is a liquid, given about 30 minutes before the carbohydrate.

One study showed that gastric emptying takes place at a slower rate when a whey protein shake was drunk 30 minutes before (rather than with) a meal of mashed potatoes. Either option was better at reducing the glucose spike than drinking water before the meal.

While this evidence shows eating protein before carbohydrates helps reduce glucose spikes, the evidence for eating other food groups separately, and in sequence, during an average meal is not so strong.

Although Inchauspé says that fibre, fats, and proteins don't mix in the stomach – they do. But nutrients are only expelled from the stomach once they have been changed into fine particle size.

Steak takes more time to change into fine particles, than mash.

Steak takes longer than mash to be churned into a fine particle. The general populous tend to consume their food in 15 minutes, and the fact that solids take more time to empty than liquids, some evidence suggest that sequencing a meal might be beneficial than eating all the food on the plate mixed up.

A small study tested five different meal sequences in 16 people without diabetes, asking the participants to finish their meal within 15 minutes.

There was no overall difference in glucose spikes between groups that ate vegetables before meat and rice.

What's the take-home message?

If you have diabetes or some other medical condition it is very important to take care of those glucose spikes. If so, your physician or dietitian will advise you on how to modify your diet or plan a diet for you that will help you avoid glucose spikes. Food ordering may be part of that advice.

For the rest of us, don't tie yourself up in knots trying to eat your meal in a particular order. But do consider removing sugary beverages, and adding fibre, proteins or fats to carbohydrates to slow gastric emptying and flatten glucose spikes.

Source - PTI

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