Are there cases when the order you eat food (i.e. macronutrients) is important? For example if you're doing a post workout meal of high GI carbs and protein, is it beneficial to eat the carbs first to spike insulin and then the protein? Or does it not really matter? And at times when you're trying to minimize insulin secretion, would it make a difference say to eat protein and fat first, then carbs?
Well…I would say no, although I do tend to eat protein first in a meal just out of habit from reading Muscle & Fiction in my youth. It’s interesting to note that a protein/carb meal has a greater insulin response than the carbs or protein eaten separately, so if the intent is a post workout insulin spike a mixed meal of rapidly digested protein and carbs is the ticket. Just to beat that to death…the mixed meal replenishes glycogen faster/better than carbs alone.
Now all of that said, macronutrients TYPICALLY digest better when eaten alone…but even this has exception. If one eats only meat at a meal protein digestion is enhanced but amylase is still acting on the glycogen in the muscle. So you still get some carbohydrate digestion. Similarly if you eat a yam the main activity is amylase acting to digest the starch but pepsin in the stomach and trypsin in the small intestines are both working on whatever proteins are present in the yam. Sorry if this answer ended up being overkill!
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