I field lots of nutritional questions about protein in my regular course of practice everyday. There are so many misconceptions about what certain food types will do once they enter your body.
Let’s take a look at how a high protein diet affects blood sugar.
Protein of course comes from many sources (Meat, eggs, beans, legumes, etc.) and finds utilization by numerous parts of our body such as:
- Serving as enzyme catalysts
- transport molecules (Hemoglobin-carries oxygen in our blood)
- Storage molecules (Iron stored as ferritin in the liver)
- Major component of muscles, bones, skin
- Immune function/control
- Control of cell growth
- Major component of hormones (signaling systems in our body)
In my experience with diabetic patients consuming proteins does NOT affect blood sugars dramatically. (CERTAINLY DOESN’T CAUSE ELEVATIONS IN SUGAR OR FAT STORAGE) In fact, encouraging a much higher proportion of protein in the diabetic diet or those trying to lose weight tends to lead to weight loss and improved blood sugar control.
Limiting starches, sugars and sweets (especially sodas, fruit juice etc.) combined with pushing the consumption of proteins and certain essential fats remains a mainstay of my diet recommendations.
Some argue that protein have more “Calories” than “Carbohydrates” so we should use caution eating them or we’ll get fat. Non-sense. Proteins require greater expenditure of energy to process during the digestion process. Proteins are broken down into essential parts, used then to build other vital structures and repair our body. The entire process uses energy which leads to less body fat deposition.
So, for the diabetic, for the individual prone to elevated blood sugars or obesity, make sure to add increase the proportion of organically derived meats, eggs, legumes to your diet. High quality proteins will help diminish hunger between meals, stabilize insulin levels and ultimately keep more balanced blood sugar control.
Check out the third post in this series on protein…
Does a High Protein Diet Plan cause kidney damage? Where’s the Beef Part # 3