Food consists of three macronutrients (called so not because of their size, but because of the
amounts in which we need them), namely, carbohydrates (CHOs), fats, and proteins. Whenever
we eat CHOs they first go to our stomach where they are digested (or turned into liquid form), and
then proceed to our intestines where they are absorbed into the blood stream in the form of
glucose (blood sugar).
As blood glucose levels rise, our body secretes insulin, a hormone that is responsible for storing
glucose in our muscle and other organ cells in the form of glycogen. Since blood glucose control
is very important in controlling diabetes, many studies have been conducted to see how different
foods affect blood glucose levels. One such study is the "gastric emptying time test," or how long
it takes food to leave our stomach. The reason this is a very important study is that the more
quickly something leaves our stomach, the more quickly it can cause blood glucose levels to rise.
Usually, the more quickly blood glucose levels rise, the more effectively glucose gets stored as fat
(due to larger insulin secretions), and therefore, the more quickly blood glucose levels drop
making us hungry sooner. It was through gastric emptying time studies that we found out that the
longest time that CHOs will stay in our stomach is one hour. In contrast, protein will stay in our
stomach two hours, and fats from three to five hours.
This is why you find yourself getting hungry 20 to 40 minutes after having a piece of fruit, or some
bread, pasta, rice, veggies, or even some cereal. And this is also why you feel stuffed for hours
after having a high fat meal. We also found that when you combine a protein with a carbohydrate,
since most proteins also contain some fat, both the protein and the fat cause the carbohydrate to
stay in the stomach longer (three and a half to four hours), which basically means that this
increases the gastric emptying time, a good thing, because a longer gastric emptying time also
means a slow and controlled increase in blood glucose, which lessens the chances of storing a
large portion of this meal as fat due to a quick and high increase in blood glucose.
A longer gastric emptying time also means mild successive increases and decreases in blood
glucose levels caused by the longer time that it takes for food to leave your stomach. As a
consequence you do not get hungry as quickly, doing away with your sweet cravings as a means
of raising low blood glucose levels.
With this understanding, it makes sense to eat protein every time you eat a carbohydrate. This
will increase the gastric emptying time, tempering the blood glucose swings, and controlling your
appetite. Now, as far as what and when to eat -- that is exactly what the DietGuru.com Executive
programs will figure out for your specific gender, height, weight, and age. We take your likes,
dislikes, schedule, and exercise program into account to yield continuous optimal results.