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Yes – A Study Says Its Possible to Prevent Diabetes by Eating Your Food in the Right Order

We investigate why this might be true—and why it might not be.

Approximately 96 million American adults, or more than one in three, have prediabetes, a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than usual but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Why is prediabetes such a huge deal? A recent study that was published in Nutrients on October 20, 2023, revealed a link between prediabetes and a number of chronic illnesses, such as dementia, cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, neuropathy, and chronic kidney disease.

The good news is that studies have demonstrated how altering one’s lifestyle to include eating differently and exercising more will reduce the chance of developing type 2 diabetes from prediabetes, as well as the risk of developing the condition overall.

The risk of type 2 diabetes has been shown to be lowered by a range of eating habits, but these researchers were interested in testing a particular eating pattern in which individuals prioritized consuming protein and non-starchy vegetables above carbs. They also attempted to duplicate past research, some of which they had conducted themselves, which had revealed a relationship between blood glucose regulation and weight reduction and the order in which various nutrients were eaten. Above all, they were curious to see whether this was sustainable and how it operated in the real world.

How Was the Research Performed?

Researchers divided prediabetic trial participants into two groups at random. Only conventional nutrition guidance was provided to one group (the C group). The FO group, which was the second group, was given conventional nutrition counseling in addition to advice on when to eat carbohydrate-rich foods last at meals and prioritize eating protein and non-starchy vegetables.

Before the start of the 16-week research period and again at its conclusion, each participant underwent an oral glucose tolerance test. Additionally, participants were asked not to increase their physical activity during the study time, and their level of activity was measured at the start and again at the finish.

The participants in both groups got routine nutrition counseling, which involved a trained dietitian reviewing their baseline food diaries and coaching them on the principles of a varied, healthy diet based on the USDA’s MyPlate framework.

Additional counseling was provided to the FO group, who were told to eat non-starchy vegetables and protein first at meals, then carbs. Additionally, students received instructions on what foods fit into each category and how to handle combination items like sandwiches (which they were advised to start with a green salad). For 16 weeks, both groups kept food diaries.

What Was Discovered by the Study?

During the 16-week study period, some of the subjects were recruited before the COVID-19 pandemic, while others were included just at the start of the outbreak. Counseling shifted from in-person sessions to phone and video sessions as a result.

A 90-day average of blood sugar levels, or HbA1c, was predicted by the researchers to be higher in the FO groups at the conclusion of the 16-week trial. In these two domains, they discovered no significant variations between the two groups. Still, both groups were heading down, which indicates that their blood sugar test results were lower than initial values; if the study had lasted longer, this trend might have persisted.

Additionally, they predicted that the FO group would lose more weight than the C group. It becomes a little complicated at this point. Prior to the pandemic, those in the FO group did, in fact, lose more weight than those in the C group—on average, six pounds as opposed to one pound over the course of 16 weeks. Though they lost roughly the same amount of weight as those in the C group, participants in the FO group whose study time occurred during the pandemic lost less weight than those whose study period fell before to the epidemic.

The researchers believe that some of the outcomes were negatively impacted by the switch from in-person to remote meetings. It’s also possible that the stress at the moment had an impact on our hormones that regulate appetite and satiety, leading us to eat more.

It’s interesting to note that when comparing the pre-pandemic groups, the C group lost less weight overall but still consumed fewer calories. The FO group lost more weight even though they didn’t cut less calories overall. They also said they could continue with the alteration because it felt simple to boost their intake of vegetables.

In summary

According to this study, you may enhance your blood sugar levels, lose weight, and consume more veggies and protein-rich foods later in your meal. You may also save more carb-rich foods until last.

This may be partially due to the fact that when you eat your vegetables and protein first, you may be less hungry by the time you reach the carbohydrates, which could lead to you eating less of them. This is more in line with a lower-carb, higher-protein diet, which supports weight loss. However, so have the Mediterranean diet and other eating plans that emphasize whole grains, legumes, fruits, and other nutritious foods high in carbohydrates.

The most important thing is to pick an eating schedule that consists of a range of foods you enjoy, eat with awareness, walk more, let stress go, and get lots of sleep. You can also have fun arranging your food in a different order if you so want. Who knows? You might be able to maintain and enjoy this eating habit. Additionally, eating more veggies may help you control your blood sugar levels.

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