How Eating Protein Can Lower Blood Sugar
How do meals affect blood sugar levels?
It is not just carbohydrates that affect the concentration of glucose in the blood. Many factors play a role here:
1. How many carbohydrates does it contain? (Bread unit, BE)
Effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels
After you have consumed carbohydrates, the pancreas releases insulin directly and quickly, depending on the respective BE / KE factor.
2. How long does the food stay in the stomach?
Factors Delaying Gastric Emptying:
- high-fat foods (reduces gastrin production)
- Metabolic imbalance e.g. hyperglycaemia
- high levels of adrenaline
- Nerve disease (autonomic neuropathy, gastroparesis = disorders of the movement pattern of the digestive organs)
- Temperatures: very cold (4 ° C), very warm (50 ° C)
- Inhibitors of digestion and absorption of various sugars (carbohydrate absorption, e.g. biguanides)
- Low glycemic index foods
- high fiber content
- high calorie liquids (small amount with a lot of calories)
3. How quickly after eating does the blood sugar level (glycemic index) rise?
This index tells how quickly a food can raise blood sugar levels.
4. How much protein and fat does it contain? (Fat-protein unit, FPE)
Effect of fat and protein on blood sugar
After you have consumed fats and proteins, the release of insulin is delayed. The duration depends on the amount.
Our body breaks down carbohydrates, which consist of strung together sugar chains, directly into glucose. Likewise, fats and proteins are broken down into their components. Amino acids (for protein) and glycerine (for fats), see illustration.
If the body lacks carbohydrates to supply the cells with energy, the liver comes into play. It is also able to form new glucose from the components of fats and proteins. This process is called gluconeogenesis or glucose formation. This process takes a very long time, up to 8 hours.
What does this mean for blood sugar levels?
After eating fat or protein, the blood sugar level can rise even hours after eating. The meal bolus that people with diabetes give with food is no longer effective.
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