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Diabetes Bites Newsletter

Did you know that protein and fat may have an effect on your blood glucose levels?

Counting Carbs…. and Fat…. and Protein…WHAT?

We know that carbohydrates will raise blood glucose (BG). We use a particular IC ratio to cover this macro-nutrient. But, we also now know that protein and fat may also have an effect on blood glucose. While the effect is not rapid as it is for carbohydrates, the effect of fat and protein can be seen well after the meal for several hours.

What Food Sources Contain Protein?

  • Animal meat of all kinds
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • cheese
  • milk
  • yogurt
  • beans
  • legumes
  • small amounts in vegetables

Why do Protein and Fat affect Blood Glucose levels?

In large amounts (>20g per meal or snack, or a portion bigger than the size of the palm of a woman’s hand), or at meals with low or no carbs, some people see a rise in BG starting about 2-3 hours after a high protein meal (that is often low in carb). This happens due to a process called gluconeogenesis – the breakdown of protein into glucose.

What Food Sources Contain Fat?

  • Fat is found in almost all the food groups (excluding most vegetables and fruits) 
  • All meat contains natural fat (higher percent in fattier cuts),
  • Processed snack foods (chips, etc)
  • Candy and desserts (made with chocolate, butter, oils or nuts)
  • Nuts, nut butters and seeds
  • Added fats like oil, salad dressing, butter, half and half, cream cheese, sour cream
  • All full fat dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream)

What Effect Does Fat Have on Blood Glucose Levels?

Fat will slow carb digestion at a meal.

How Does Fat Make Blood Glucose Rise?

how fat and protein effect blood glucose levels

Knowing is half the battle…
What can we do to avoid the post-meal rises associated with the intake of fat and protein?
How do we figure out how much additional insulin may be needed and when to account for fat and/or protein?
What is the best way to deliver the insulin to match the delayed effect of protein and much later and long term effect of fat?

We have a great team of clinicians here at IDS that are just waiting to answer your questions and help you pour through your records to assist with post meal glucose management.

Give us a call to set up a time to talk and we can point you in the right direction to count fat and protein and keep those post meal numbers where you want them!!

Contact our team or make an appointment.

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