To evaluate the effect of the order of intake of carbohydrates, protein, and fat on postprandial glucose levels in children with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Our hypothesis was that postprandial glucose levels would be lower when fat and protein are consumed prior to carbohydrates, compared to a meal where all macronutrients are combined.


A randomized, open-label, within-subject crossover study was conducted. Twenty patients aged 7 to 17 years diagnosed with T1D for >1 year consumed 2 isocaloric meals (with similar composition) in random order. In 1 meal, the protein and fat part was consumed 15 minutes prior to the carbohydrates (test meal). In the other meal, all macronutrients were consumed together (standard meal). Capillary blood glucose measurements and continuous glucose monitoring system were used to assess multiple glucose levels during a 3-hour postprandial period.


Overall, mean glucose levels were 1 mmol/L lower following the test meal compared to the standard meal (9.30 ± 3.20 vs 10.24 ± 3.35 mmol/L; P < .001). No significant difference in peak glucose was found. Glucose excursions were 1.5 and 1 mmol/L lower at 30 and 120 minutes following the test meal. A reduction in the total time period in which glucose levels exceeded 10 and 12 mmol/L of 28.7 (P = .001) and 22.3 minutes (P = .004), respectively, after the test meal was found.


This study shows that consumption of protein and fat prior to carbohydrates results in lower postprandial glucose levels and reduced glycemic variability in children with T1D.