Home Blood Sugar Management Why you should start your breakfast with vegetables

Why you should start your breakfast with vegetables

by Matt Fuchs
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BBefore the pandemic, Barbara Senich, a retiree from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was diagnosed with prediabetes, which means her blood sugar levels put her at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. was doing. The source of that blood sugar level was sweet foods, grains, and other carbohydrates. She says she was constantly snacking because she was thinking about them every 30 seconds.

Now, she keeps her appetite and blood sugar levels in check by changing the way she eats. But Saenich didn't quit her carbs. She changed the order in which she had them.

Researchers have recently found eating certain foods not starchy vegetables in front Compared to consuming carbohydrates first, consuming carbohydrates may result in lower blood sugar levels and healthier outcomes.Especially for breakfast, these vegetable starters also Suppress hormones that cause hunger all day long.

Carbohydrates are not inherently bad. They are the main source of energy for the nervous system and provide fiber that aids digestion and lowers cholesterol levels. Carbohydrates are found in some unhealthy foods (like French fries), but they're also abundant in healthy options like unprocessed fruits, lentils, and beans that give your brain and muscles energy . However, some high-carbohydrate foods increase blood sugar levels, also known as glucose. Can climb higher than ideal range Especially if eaten alone or in excess. When such spikes occur frequently over many years, our cells become unresponsive to insulin, the hormone that normally signals cells to take up glucose for energy use. This problem, called insulin resistance, causes sugar to build up in the blood. This is a characteristic of diabetes.

about 1 in 3 Americans, or 98 million people have prediabetes, and more than 80% don't know they have diabetes. Many people develop her type 2 diabetes, which can cause nerve damage, vision loss, and shortened lifespan.

However, by changing the order in which you eat your food, you can eat more carbohydrates and keep your blood sugar levels healthy as well. It's free and “doesn't require superhuman willpower,” Senich says.

Why is it effective?

When you eat vegetables first, their fibers set up a filter in your intestines. When the carbohydrates arrive on the scene, the filter slows them down, much like sand catching a flood, so the glucose enters the bloodstream only a little bit instead of all at once. These drops require less insulin for your cells to absorb, reducing the strain on your pancreas. “Taken together, the research strongly supports the idea that meal ordering reduces postprandial blood sugar spikes,” says Alpana Shukla, a research associate professor at Weill Cornell University who studies meal ordering. says the doctor.

Strategies include: biggest reward People with prediabetes or diabetes simply have high blood sugar levels to begin with. However, people with normal blood sugar levels may have similar benefits. in one studyThe peak of blood sugar levels in healthy people when they last stored rice was significantly lower than when you eat rice before meat or vegetables. Over time, more stable glucose may help prevent serious illness.

read more: You need more fermented pickles in your diet

Another benefit that everyone will enjoy is that if you eat your veggies first, you're more likely to eat more of them than if you fill up on carbs before you eat your veggies. Many Americans are vitamin deficiency And, on average, we consume 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day. Ancestors enjoyed approx.. When you change the order, “you tend to favor more nutritious foods, which is a good thing whether you have a health problem or want to prevent it,” Shukla says.

How to make vegetable starter

Try to eat vegetables 10 minutes before eating carbohydrates. However, you can still get some benefits even if you don't take a break before eating carbs, Shukla says. Nousheen Hashemi, founder and CEO of a health tracking company January AIkeeps his blood sugar levels healthy by anticipating high-carbohydrate dishes and carrying vegetables like broccoli, fennel, and peppers in his wallet to restaurants. “I carry vegetables,” she says. (Marc Benioff, owner of TIME magazine, is an investor in January AI.)

You don't have to eat only vegetables to get the benefits.Combine vegetables and protein before carbohydrates result Glucose peaks are 46% lower in pre-diabetics compared to carbohydrate-first. Shukla says this combination may be slightly more effective than eating vegetables alone.

Another benefit: Because you're getting vegetables and protein, you'll stay full for three hours after eating. suppress hormones A substance that causes hunger called ghrelin. As a result, you may consume fewer calories.When people eat the same meal in reverse order, eating carbohydrates first, this ghrelin hormone increases. much higher rebound At the 3 hour mark.

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eat carbohydrates last appear Another hormone, GLP-1, slows down the rate at which the stomach moves food to the intestines, further reducing the burden on the insulin system. This effect of GLP-1 is the basis for blockbuster weight loss drugs like Ozempic, which is rapidly gaining popularity. “Through this intervention, you can tap into your own GLP-1 and boost it,” Shukla says.

Ordering food is especially helpful during breakfast. Shukla says if you don't eat anything overnight, your blood sugar levels at mealtimes can be higher than at lunch or dinner. Start your breakfast with an omelet packed with vegetables, she suggests. Mix in lots of veggies and egg protein before ending up with just one slice of carbs, multigrain toast.

“We know that food ordering throughout the day has an impact,” says Sarah Berry, associate professor of nutritional science at King's College London and principal investigator at a science and personalized nutrition company. says. zoe. Berry found that unhealthy blood sugar levels after lunch depended in part on whether blood sugar spiked at breakfast. Cereals and bagels high in carbohydrates It dominates our personal breakfast menu.

For best results, imagine half your plate covered in vegetables, 25% protein and 25% carbohydrates, says Shukla. But a small amount of starter can also help regulate blood sugar levels, she added.

“It's not all or nothing,” North Carolina's Senich says. She makes sure to always have baby carrots within reach, and she thinks having 10 or so is better than just eating carbs.

As always, it's good to aim for carbohydrate intake. Raw, complex, high fiber.

Try our protein appetizers

Another option shown to flatten glucose spikes is a vegetable-free protein primer. If you consume protein alone before carbohydrates, prevent Blood sugar levels spike, making you feel fuller. Before her oatmeal, Senich makes sure to eat unsweetened Greek yogurt and nuts, which are good sources of protein. “Almond appetizer” reduce Postprandial blood sugar levels drop by 15%.

Joe Sapone, a consulting firm founder in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, says he lost 120 pounds through meal planning and medication. “I got into the habit of eating protein first,” he says. He is a fan of whey protein shakes. “I'm Italian, so food is my religion,” Sapone says. “I want to eat pasta and bread.” But after the shake, you feel less hungry and eat less.

“Whey is king,” says Daniel West, a professor of nutrition and insulin at Newcastle University. Whey is rich in amino acids that “prepare” your body for carbohydrates. Consume just 15 grams of whey before meals. Improve Reduce daily glucose by 10%.other the study Shows sustained effects over 12 weeks.

Hashemi prefers pea protein shakes. supported by evidence West says it's an option.

Fruits that are relatively low in sugar may also have some benefit as a preload. Some fruits, such as strawberries, are high in fiber, so eating them first before eating other types of carbohydrates increases GLP-1 hormones and suppresses appetite more than eating the whole fruit. may be helpful. the study i got you. This effect may support weight loss, but research is mixed on whether consuming fruit first helps control blood sugar levels. “It's better to pre-load on less starchy vegetables and protein-rich foods, as they contain little sugar or carbohydrates,” says Shukla.

More from Time

prepare for success

If you're busy, have a vegetable starter readily available. Preparation is key. “At the store, I try to buy vegetables that are easily available, like cucumbers,” Senich says. While the carbs are cooking, she pinches some chopped green pepper.

Sapone, who has type 2 diabetes, prepares almost a week's worth of healthy food in advance and keeps it at eye level in the refrigerator. He pre-packs carrots at the beach club in case he's tempted by pretzels. “I'm not a very methodical person,” he says, but he's “satisfied” with his food order. It's not just him. “Patients are committed to following food orders to support their obesity care, in part because patients are committed to following food orders to support their obesity care,” said Dr. Katherine Saunders, a bariatric physician at Weill Cornell Medicine and co-founder of IntelliHealth. “You can still get carbohydrates.” “The best diets are the ones that don't feel like diets.”

read more: Why walking alone is not enough when it comes to exercise

Sapone's enthusiasm was reinforced by his own data. He likes to use a continuous blood sugar monitor to track how carbohydrates themselves raise blood sugar levels and how preloading can help. In addition to lowering his weight and average blood sugar levels, his cholesterol also decreased.

Through technology companies like January AI, people will be able to monitor how their food orders and other factors affect their blood sugar levels without the need for continuous blood sugar monitors.When you take a photo of your meal, January's AI algorithm Predict Postprandial effects based on demographics such as age, BMI, and disease status.

Sequencing your meals is not a panacea. In cases of obesity and diabetes, it is most effective if patients also take medication under the supervision of a specialist, as was the case with Sapone and Zenich. Further improvements in glucose management include: good sleep, eat slowly and regular exercise.

And keep in mind that most research on vegetable starters focuses on their immediate effects. Further research is needed on long-term outcomes. “We have a lot of tools in our toolbox,” Berry says. “Ordering food is just one of those tools.”

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