Eating fish and meat before rice can help control blood sugar, researchers say


Eating fish or meat ahead of rice can help curb spikes in blood sugar by slowing down the stomach, a Japanese study has found.

“Dietary therapy focusing on the sequence of food intakes may lead to diabetes prevention and treatment,” said Daisuke Yabe, deputy director-general of the Kansai Electric Power Medical Research Institute.

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.

According to 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.

This technique may become even more effective if vegetables are eaten ahead of fish, meat and rice, the group said.