A new study is suggesting that patients with diabetes can control their blood sugar levels by adjusting the way they eat, specifically to start with greens and meats, and to leave pasta, potatoes, and bread last during meal times.

The simple explanation is that starchy foods such as pasta cause spikes in blood sugar, post meal, because carbohydrates are known to elevate blood sugar levels. The best is for diabetes patients to eat less carbohydrate-rich foods.

The research team from Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, led by endocrinologist Dr Alpana Shukla and obesity specialist Dr Louis Aronne, acknowledged that compliance may e difficult.

They noted the effects of their findings could even be compared to certain treatments used in diabetes such as insulin.

"[The finding] is comparable to the kind of effect you see with some of the drugs we use to treat diabetes. Eating carbohydrates last may be a simple strategy for regulating post-meal glucose levels," the authors were quoted as saying.

For the study, the team looked at 16 men and women with type 2 diabetes, who ate the same meal but in a different order, with a week apart.

During the first trial, the participants ate bread and orange juice first, then chicken and salad. During the second trial, the participants ate the same meal but in reverse order.

Further, the team found that participants who ate carbs last experienced lower levels of post-meal glucose, about half compared when they ate the carbs first.

The results were likewise lower by 40 percent, compared to when all food components are eaten together.

The study likewise found that the 'carbs last' meal could lead to lower insulin secretion and higher production of gut hormones, which help in regulating glucose and satiety.

"In the real world, when people actually eat carbohydrates at the end of the meal after consuming vegetables and protein, they will probably end up consuming somewhat less," according to the study authors.

Dr Shukla said the new findings offer people a simple strategy for preventing glucose spikes when consuming carbohydrates.

For now, the researchers are testing their findings among people with prediabetes, where blood sugar level is high yet does not quite warrant a diabetes diagnosis. MIMS

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