Sunday, June 16, 2024

Does Eating Protein Lower Blood Sugar

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What About Natural Sweeteners

How Does Protein Affect Blood Sugar?

Though some natural sweeteners, like honey and maple syrup, are generally not as heavily processed as table sugar or corn syrup, they are still relatively pure sources of sugar and contain almost no fiber.

Many other sweeteners, marketed as being natural, should also be considered added sugar. These include agave syrup, coconut sugar and cane sugar, to name a few.

Therefore, they should be consumed in moderation like all added sugars, ideally making up less than 10% of your daily calories .


While added sugars are strongly linked to the development of diabetes, natural sugars found in whole fruits and vegetables dont have the same effect.

Does Sugar Cause Diabetes Fact Vs Fiction

Since diabetes is a disease characterized by high blood sugar levels, many people wonder whether eating sugar can cause it.

While its true that eating large amounts of added sugar may increase your risk of diabetes, sugar intake is just one piece of the puzzle.

Many other factors including overall diet, lifestyle and genetics also impact your risk.

This article reviews sugars role in developing diabetes and provides tips for preventing the disease.

Insulin And Muscle Building

Whether your goal is muscle gain or fat loss, stimulating insulin after a workout is beneficial. The reason? Insulin is anti-catabolic which means it stops muscle breakdown. Not only does this present a better environment for muscle growth but also ensures you do not LOSE muscle mass while dieting.

Since we know from above that protein stimulate insulin, consuming a high protein meal after a workout and even a whey shake directly after a workout stimulates insulin which halts muscle breakdown. The insulin also helps shuttle the protein into muscles to help BUILD muscle tissue.

So even on a fat loss diet or low-carbohydrate diet stimulating insulin at key times can be quite beneficial. If your goal is performance or muscle gain you have more leeway to stimulate insulin with carbohydrates around a workout from an overall calorie perspective. But in a fat loss and/or low-carb phase a whey protein shake helps keep calories down while accomplishing the same insulin release.

Guyenet, Stephan. Glucagon, Dietary Protein, and Low-Carbohydrate Diets. Whole Health Source, 1 Jan. 1970,

How Much Protein – Protein and Insulin – How Much Protein to Spike Insulin Levels. How Much Protein / Protein and Insulin – How Much Protein to Spike Insulin Levels.,

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Should You Use Carbohydrate And Protein To Treat Hypoglycemia

The ADA recommends pure glucose as the preferred treatment for hypoglycemia , although any form of carbohydrate that contains glucose will raise your glucose level. Carbohydrate sources high in protein should not be used to treat or prevent hypoglycemia.

To learn more about nutrition and diabetes, click here. If youre looking for protein-rich meal and snack ideas, check out Catherine Newmans recipes.

About Constance

Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RDN, CDCES, CDN, is a national speaker and author of the award-winning Diabetes Guide to Enjoying Foods of the World, a convenient guide to help people with diabetes enjoy all the flavors of the world while still following a healthy meal plan, and The African American Guide to Living Well with Diabetes. Learn more about Constance and follow her on and .

Beans Peas And Lentils

The Order of The Food You Eat Affect Your Blood Sugar Levels

Legumes are nutrient dense and have a low glycemic index, making them a great addition to diabetic-conscious meals. Some common legumes are lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas. Legumes are also high in fiber, which helps keep blood sugar from spiking since the fiber slows the breakdown of the foods. Try making a hearty lentil soup or having a chickpea hummus to dip veggies into.

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How Eating Protein Affects Blood Sugar

One of the main components of maintaining normal blood glucose levels in people living with diabetes is consuming nutritiously balanced meals. A balanced meal should contain three macro-nutrients which are nutrients that provide us with energy. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the three macro-nutrients that exist.

While the human body processes each macro-nutrient differently and each plays a role in how fast glucose is absorbed in the body, carbs have the greatest effect on blood sugar. Thats because your body breaks down carbs into sugar, which enters your bloodstream. The exception to this is fiber, a non-digestible carb that can slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood.

Eating meals thought the day with a mix of proteins, carbs and fat can help people with diabetes to:

  • Have a constant source of energy
  • Be less likely to get so hungry that you overeat when you finally have a meal
  • Be able to control your weight better because youre not tempted to overeat
  • It can help you keep your blood sugar in a normal range

How the body breaks down protein

Although proteins are broken down similarly to carbohydrates, they have different effects on blood glucose levels. Protein breakdown begins in the stomach where they are broken down into smaller substances and reach the intestines where they are broken down further into amino acids.

Protein and Insulin

Proteins sources in the diet

Plant-based proteins

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Regulation of insulin secretion studies with pieces of rabbit pancreas incubated in vitro.

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Food Order Has Significant Impact On Glucose And Insulin Levels

Dr. Louis Aronne’s study in Diabetes Care found that insulin and glucose levels were significantly lower when protein and vegetables were eaten before carbohydrates.

Eating protein and vegetables before carbohydrates leads to lower post-meal glucose and insulin levels in obese patients with type 2 diabetes, Weill Cornell Medical College researchers found in a new study. This finding, published June 23 in the journal Diabetes Care, might impact the way clinicians advise diabetic patients and other high-risk individuals to eat, focusing not only on how much, but also on when carbohydrates are consumed.

]”We’re always looking for ways to help people with diabetes lower their blood sugar,” said senior author Dr. Louis Aronne, the Sanford I. Weill Professor of Metabolic Research and a professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, who is the study’s principal investigator. “We rely on medicine, but diet is an important part of this process, too. Unfortunately, we’ve found that it’s difficult to get people to change their eating habits.

“Carbohydrates raise blood sugar, but if you tell someone not to eat them or to drastically cut back it’s hard for them to comply,” added Dr. Aronne, who is also director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Center at Weill Cornell. “This study points to an easier way that patients might lower their blood sugar and insulin levels.”

Dr. Louis Aronne. Photo credit: Carlos Rene Perez

May Provide Relief For Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Does Eating More Protein Raise Blood Sugar?!

The two main types of inflammatory bowel disease are ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease. Both are characterized by chronic bowel inflammation.

Oat bran may help provide relief for people with IBD.

Thats because oat bran is high in dietary fiber, which your healthy gut bacteria can break down into short-chain fatty acids , such as butyrate. SCFAs help nourish colon cells and may reduce bowel inflammation .

One 12-week study in people with ulcerative colitis found that eating 60 grams of oat bran daily providing 20 grams of fiber reduced stomach pain and reflux symptoms. Additionally, it significantly raised colon levels of SCFAs like butyrate .

A review in adults with IBD determined that regularly eating oats or oat bran may help relieve common symptoms, such as constipation and pain .

That said, there are still too few human studies on oat bran and IBD. More research is needed.

Summary Oat bran may help relieve IBD symptoms by nourishing colon cells and helping reduce inflammation. However, more human studies are needed.

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What Is An Insulin Response

When we eat a meal, our digestive system breaks down food into nutrients that are absorbed into the bloodstream.

Carbohydrates are broken down into sugars, which lead to an increase in blood sugar after consuming them. Its this rise in blood sugar that triggers the release of the blood-sugar-lowering hormone, insulin. This process is known as an insulin response.

This process is crucial because of the delicate balancing act we call blood sugar. The body likes to keep a tight reign on blood sugar as too low or too high can have deleterious effects. We often hear insulin and think “bad” when in fact it is absolutely essential for optimal health and function.

Proteins are broken down into amino acids, which also stimulate an insulin response. However, the type of insulin response varies depending on the protein food source.

Does Eating Protein With Carbs Lower Glucose Readings

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Monitoring your blood sugar readings can be a useful method of keeping tabs on your health. If your blood glucose levels start reading higher than normal, it could be a sign that you have prediabetes and are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The type of foods you eat prior to a glucose test will affect the result — particularly if you eat more protein, which may lower the blood glucose reading.

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Control Blood Sugar Levels And Slow Ageing By Eating Food In This Order

  • The order in which you eat different types of food can control your blood sugar, make ageing slow and result in fewer cravings.

Parmita Uniyal

In what seems to be a novel and interesting way to control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, a new study finds that the order in which different types of food are consumed can have a big impact on post-meal glucose and insulin levels in obese people.

While balanced diet plays a crucial diet in overall health of people, diabetics often struggle with making the right food choices in order to keep their blood glucose levels in check.

Nutritionist Pooja Makhija on her Instagram account, quoting a new study conducted by researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, NY, says that tweaking the order in which different types of food are eaten can prevent sugar spikes post meals.

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“When the vegetables and protein were eaten before the carbohydrates, the researchers found that glucose levels were 29%, 37% and 17% lower at the 30, 60 and 120-minute checks, compared with when carbohydrates were consumed first. Also, insulin was found to be significantly lower when the participants ate vegetables and protein first,” says Makhija while quoting the study.

When To Go To The Er

Top 7 Foods To Lower Blood Sugar Levels

High blood sugar can be very concerning because your body can start burning fat for energy instead of blood glucose.

This can cause conditions such as DKA and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome . These conditions are medical emergencies and can be fatal if left untreated.

DKA is a serious complication of type 1 diabetes. Its rare in people with type 2 diabetes, but can occur.

Symptoms that can indicate you should go to the emergency room include:

  • ketones in your urine, as diagnosed using a urine dipstick test
  • confusion
  • stomach pain
  • vomiting

High blood sugar levels can cause a fluid imbalance in the body and can cause the blood to become acidic in a manner that doesnt support life.

Medical treatments for these conditions include administering intravenous insulin on a continuous basis and IV fluids to correct dehydration.


High blood sugar can become a medical emergency. Go to the ER if you suspect DKA or HHS.

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Diet Foods Are The Best Choices

MYTH. You might be paying more for “diet” food that you could find in the regular sections of the grocery store or make yourself.

Read the labels to find out if the ingredients and number of calories are good choices for you. When in doubt, ask your doctor, diabetes educator, or a dietitian for advice.

How Much Protein Do You Need

How much protein you need depends on your age, sex, health, and physical activity. On average, people with diabetes eat about the same amount of protein as the general public, which is 15-20% of their daily calories . The American Diabetes Association does not recommend a specific amount of protein, but if you currently get less than 15-20% of your calories from protein, this is a good range to aim for. If you eat 2,000 calories per day, then about 300-400 of those calories would come from protein, which is about 75-100 grams of protein.

If you dont keep track of your daily total calories, you can use the kilogram formula above to make sure you are getting enough protein. First, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2. If you weigh 170 pounds, that is equal to 77 kilograms . That number is also the minimum number of grams of protein recommended for you. Then, multiply 77 by 1.5, and you get a maximum number of 116 grams of protein per day. For instance:

  • A 170-pound person would eat about 77-116 grams of protein each day.

  • A 200-pound person would eat about 90-136 grams of protein each day.

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Optimize Your Diet And Fitness With Nutrisense

Everyoneâs protein requirements and how they handle specific foods can vary greatly. It could be beneficial to see if your foods, especially protein, positively affect your blood sugars. Continuous glucose monitors can help give you real-time insights into how your body responds to different foods, meal sequencing, and lifestyle changes.

The programs at NutriSense can help you manage and monitor your blood glucose levels as you make the changes you need to optimize your overall health. The CGM technology can provide insights into your blood glucose data, personalized support from a team of registered dietitians, and strategies to help manage balanced blood glucose levels.

May Help Control Blood Sugar Levels

Whey Protein Isolate Blood Sugar & Ketone Response

Type 2 diabetes is a health issue that affects over 400 million people .

People with this disease may struggle to control their blood sugar levels. Poor blood sugar control can lead to blindness, heart attacks, strokes, and other health issues.

Foods high in soluble fiber such as oat bran may help control blood sugar levels.

Soluble fiber like beta-glucan helps slow the digestion and absorption of carbs through your digestive tract, stabilizing blood sugar levels .

A review of 10 studies in people with type 2 diabetes found that consuming 6 grams of beta-glucan daily for 4 weeks significantly reduced blood sugar levels. Whats more, 3 grams or more of beta-glucan for 12 weeks reduced blood sugar levels by 46% .

Other studies suggest that eating oat bran prior to or alongside a carb-rich meal can slow down the rate that sugars enter your bloodstream, possibly stopping blood sugar spikes .

Summary Oat brans soluble fiber may prevent blood sugar spikes and control blood sugar levels especially in people with type 2 diabetes.

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Glucose And Insulin Levels Lower When Carbohydrates Were Eaten Last

The researchers first took the patients glucose levels in the morning, 12 hours after they last ate. On the first day of the study, the participants were told to consume the carbohydrates in their meal first, and to follow this 15 minutes later by the protein, vegetables and fat in the meal. The participants glucose levels were checked 30, 60 and 120 minutes after eating.

The experiment was then repeated 1 week later, except this time the food order was reversed the protein, vegetables and fat were eaten first, with the carbohydrates consumed 15 minutes later.

When the vegetables and protein were eaten before the carbohydrates, the researchers found that glucose levels were 29%, 37% and 17% lower at the 30, 60 and 120-minute checks, compared with when carbohydrates were consumed first. Also, insulin was found to be significantly lower when the participants ate vegetables and protein first.

Based on this finding, instead of saying dont eat that to their patients, clinicians might instead say, eat this before that,’ says senior author Dr. Louis Aronne, the Sanford I. Weill Professor of Metabolic Research and a professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Carbohydrates raise blood sugar, but if you tell someone not to eat them or to drastically cut back its hard for them to comply. This study points to an easier way that patients might lower their blood sugar and insulin levels, Dr. Aronne concludes.

You’ll Need To Give Up Your Favorite Foods

MYTH. Thereâs no reason to stop eating what you love. Instead, try:

  • A change in the way your favorite foods are prepared. Can you bake it instead of deep-frying it?
  • A change in the other foods you usually eat along with your favorites. Maybe have a sweet potato instead of mashed potatoes?
  • Smaller servings of your favorite foods. A little bit goes a long way.
  • Not using your favorite foods as a reward when you stick to your meal plan. Do reward yourself, but with something other than food.

A dietitian can help you find ways to include your favorites in your diabetes meal plan.

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