Food Sequencing May Impact Blood Sugar

Any fan of classic rock knows that meals follow a specific order. After all, “If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding.” But, according to experts, the order in which we eat our foods may impact our blood sugar.

Experts are debating whether food sequencing can influence blood sugar levels. Food sequencing means eating different types of food in order during meals. Some believe eating veggies, followed by proteins, then healthy fats and, finally, carbs will prevent spikes. Others believe the key lies in the ratios of food on the plate and has nothing to do with the order in which they are eaten.

There is science in food sequencing. Eating fiber, protein and fat first stimulates the secretion of the hormone that slows gastric emptying. That, in turn, slows down sugar reactions after meals. You will also feel fuller when you get to your carbs, so you may prevent overeating and lower cravings. In a 2022 study, people with blood sugar concerns who ate vegetables before carbs had better average blood sugar levels than those who didn’t. But, the jury is out on overall sequencing. A review of eight studies seemed to show it didn’t matter when protein and fat were eaten in relation to carbs.

Experts stress that the important thing is what’s on your plate. Food sequencing assumes that your meal will have vegetables, protein, healthy fat and some carbs. Pairing carbs with those healthy foods is a good way of preventing spikes! When you eat carbs, you shouldn’t eat them alone.

Amanda Sauceda, registered dietitian, said people should be “concerned by the ratios of food on your plate versus the order you eat them in” for better blood sugar health. She believes that a good combination of fat, fiber and protein can help you “feel full, energized and stabilize your blood sugar.”

As eating vegetables, protein and fat can help you feel fuller, this might be a great way of helping your blood sugar and helping you lose weight. If you aren’t someone who always “joins the clean plate club,” this could be an excellent system for you. You’ll be more satiated when you reach the carbs on your plate and may eat less of them.

Some people have hailed this eating method as a “small form of Ozempic.” That seems like an overpromise bound to under-deliver and deeply disappoint people. Food sequencing will not perform like medication. However, in conjunction with healthy foods, you may find yourself eating less with more ease and experiencing fewer spikes.    

Banner image: Ella Olsson via Unsplash

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