December 27


How Eating Protein Before Carbs Affects Blood Glucose

By Gabriela

December 27, 2017

Some people prefer to eat in a specific order. We have all seen someone doing that, right?

But, if we see someone eating the broccoli first, the chicken and then the rice, it’s not just a bizarre way of eating. In fact, it might be that this person is timing the carb consumption.

Believe it or not, but this way of eating impacts the blood glucose levels. Surprising, right? Read on, to find out more.

Study on This Topic

The journal Diabetes Care published one study on this topic on June 23th. According to this study, the timing of carb consumption helps control blood glucose levels.

And that in turn helps when it comes to weight management. In this study, there were 11 participants with type 2 diabetes. These participants were obese or overweight.

Also, all of them were taking Metformin for controlling their blood glucose. The participants in this study fasted for approximately 12 hours before having a meal. To be more precise, a 628 calorie meal with fat, protein, and carbs.

More About This Study

In one trial, the participants ate the carbs first (orange juice and ciabatta bread). And then after fifteen minutes the skinless grilled chicken, buttered steamed broccoli and a small salad.

In another trial, they ate the same meal only with reversed order. First, the participants ate the broccoli and salad, the chicken and at the end the carbs.

Before the meals, their blood samples were taken. And also after 30 minutes, 60 minutes and 120 minutes after their meal.

Results of the Study

According to the results, when the participants ate the protein and vegetables first, the blood glucose levels were around 29 % lower after 30 minutes. Moreover, approximately 37 % lower after 60 minutes and about 17 % lower after 120 minutes.

This is in comparison to when the participants first ate the carbs. According to the chief of the Adult Diabetes Section at Joslin Diabetes Center, Sethu Reddy, MD, it’s possible that this is tempering how fast the carbs get absorbed.

It is known that consuming whey protein shakes before meals lower the blood glucose levels after eating. However, it wasn’t know how the order in which foods are consumed can influence the blood glucose levels after a meal.


This study might affect the way doctor advise their patients to eat, by not focusing only on what but also when a particular food is consumed.

In case other studies come to the same conclusion, it might be easier for people to control their blood glucose levels.

So, by making a different eating order people might lower their blood glucose during the day.

Also, that might help decrease the amount of insulin and maybe have a positive, long-lasting impact on their health.


  • Gabriela

    Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health Page, Fitness trainer and instructor has dedicated her career to educating and informing people for over 10 years. As one of the most passionate diabetes advocates, Gabi has worked tirelessly to ensure that those people receive the education and support they need to properly manage their diabetes and achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals.

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