Eating the protein and vegetables in our meals before carbohydrates could not only keeps people fuller for longer, but it also helps control blood sugar levels, researchers say.
11 obese or overweight people with type 2 diabetes, participated in the study by researchers from WeillCornell Medical College in New York.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not make enough insulin or is resistant to insulin and each of the participants was taking a drug called metformin which helps to control blood sugar levels.
Participants fasted 12 hours overnight before consuming a typical 628 calorie Western meal of protein, carbohydrates and fat.
The meal consisted of a skinless chicken breast, buttered broccoli, salad, ciabatta bread and a glass of orange juice.
In the first week of the study, the group ate the bread and drank the juice first and then ate the protein and the veg 15 minutes later.
A week later, the participants ate the same meal in the reverse order, first eating the chicken and greens and then the bread and juice.
In both instances, researchers measured the blood sugar levels of each participant just before eating and then 30, 60 and 120 minutes after the meal.
The results showed that the blood sugar levels were 29%, 37% and 17% lower when researchers checked them at 30, 60 and 120 minutes, respectively, when the group had eaten the chicken and veg first. Insulin levels were also lower when participants had eaten the veg and protein first.
Senior study author, Dr Louis Aronne described the result as encouraging adding that it could potentially benefit people.