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When is the best time to eat carbs?

Surrey’s Dr Adam Collins has been helping BBC TV programme 'Trust Me I’m a Doctor' with a study looking into whether it’s better to eat carbs in the morning or evening.

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And there were some surprising results. Adam, senior tutor in nutrition, believed his study would show that eating carbs, such as bread, pasta and vegetables, in the morning would have a more beneficial effect on our blood glucose levels than doing so in the evening.

However, the study proved otherwise. He recruited healthy volunteers who for five days were asked to eat most of their carb allowance for breakfast, leaving only a small amount for dinner time. Then they had five days of normal eating before switching to low-carb breakfasts and high-carb dinners for a final five days.

When the researchers tested the volunteers on the day after a run of high-carb breakfasts and low-carb dinners, they found their average blood glucose response was 15.9 units as predicted, but when they did the same tests after five days of low-carb breakfasts and high-carb dinners their average glucose response went down to 10.4 units, much lower than expected.

The study appears to show that after a few days of low-carb breakfasts and high-carb dinners our bodies becomes trained for this - it becomes better at responding to a heavy carb load in the evening.

Dr Collins is now launching a much larger study, which will hopefully provide more definitive answers.

The new series of Trust Me I'm a Doctor continues on BBC Two at 8.30pm on 17 January and will be available on iPlayer afterwards.

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