What's The Best Time To Eat Cake?
Last updated: March 2022
Even though the holidays are behind us, I’m guessing there will still be occasions this winter when you’re going to want to consume cake (or candy hearts or a shamrock shake).
Eat carbs last
Luckily, some recent research done on folks living with type 2 diabetes may prove very useful if you love dessert: Eating your carbs and sugars last can keep peaks in your glucose levels way, way lower than when carbs were consumed first. Like, 50 percent lower!
You can check out the study here, but the gist is that researchers had a group of people with type 2 diabetes eat the same meal on three different days, but switched up the order of the foods they ate. Carbs first, then veggies and protein, veggies and protein first, then carbs, or all together. They tested blood sugar levels before the meal and then every thirty minutes after for three hours.
Eating the carbs last (in this case, ten minutes later) produced the best results by far, resulting in blood sugar much lower than even eating the carbs along with the veggies and protein.
How can you incorporate this into your life? Here are some ideas.
Hold off on bread
Skip the breadbasket (or ask for it last!). If you’re at a restaurant and absolutely starving, ask them to hold the bread (and soda and alcohol!) and bring you a salad as a starter. Bonus points if you ask for some protein on top. Then, if you really want bread, eat it later, after you’ve consumed at least the salad, or even your main meal.
Put the potatoes off to the side or skip them if you’re having dessert. Instead of having eggs and potatoes, try having eggs and veggies, sipping on your coffee and milk for ten minutes, then eating the potatoes last. If it’s dinner time, maybe eat the steak and veggies, wait ten minutes, then have that piece of cheesecake you’ve been eyeballing all night.
Start with salad
Always start with a protein-packed salad. If eating veggies and protein first is a good way to keep your sugar levels down, why not start every dinner with a salad topped with chicken, tofu, or whatever other protein floats your boat? That way once you get to the main course, even if it has carbs in it, you’ve built that solid base.
Eat carbs with protein
If you can’t manage this all the time, don’t get too stressed about it, it’s just something to keep in mind. If you’re absolutely hankering for something sweet or carby, though, and can’t stand to eat it after a veggie and protein-filled meal, at least pair the carb with some sort of protein, as research has also shown that helps keep blood sugar levels a little more stable. Think chocolate chips with peanut butter or almonds, a slice of bread with a piece of turkey, a cheese stick and an apple.
If this works for you, try it! It may help and it certainly can’t hurt—and you can have your cake and eat it, too! (As long as you eat some kale and turkey first.)
Do you chew your food slowly or quickly?
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