By Sola Ogundipe
THIS information will interest people living with diabetes. The next time you are served a plate of rice, it is advisable to eat the fish or meat before the rice. Japanese researchers say they have established that eating fish and meat before rice can help control blood sugar in people with diabetes because it slows down the stomach.
Now whether or not you agree with this finding, researchers at the Kansai Electric Power Medical Research Institute are convinced that dietary therapy focusing on the sequence of food intakes may lead to diabetes prevention and treatment.
In a three-day research project involving 12 patients with type 2 diabetes and 10 healthy people, the group monitored changes in blood sugar levels four hours after the subjects had meals in which rice was consumed either first or last.
When boiled mackerel and grilled beef were eaten 15 minutes before rice, their sugar levels were about 30 percent and 40 percent lower, respectively, compared with when they ate rice first.
From their findings, eating fish and beef first promoted the secretion of incretin, a gastrointestinal hormone, which slowed stomach motility and thus the rise in blood sugar. Several other studies note that vegetarian and vegan (no meat, fish, eggs, dairy, or honey) diets help prevent, control, and even reverse diabetes.
It is expected that this technique may become even more effective if vegetables are eaten ahead of fish, meat and rice.
Ordinarily, fish just happens to bring the added benefit of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids but previous studies say fish intake may increase type 2 diabetes risk by increasing blood sugar levels. However, diabetics are known to gain control of their blood sugar levels by following approved dietary guidelines and recommendations.
As a rule, moderate consumption of all food items including meat and fish is key. The recommendation is to check blood sugar as directed by the healthcare provider.