Effect of Protein on Blood Sugars

Learn what foods are rich in protein and how protein affects blood sugar.


Effect of Protein on Blood Sugars

Protein – what foods are rich in protein and how do they affect blood sugars?  Protein-rich foods include eggs, meat and cheese. These types of foods do not contain carbohydrates. However, some foods do contain protein and carbs, such as beans, nuts and seeds, peanut butter, almond butters, any kind of nut butters, and milk. These types of foods do contain carbohydrates and protein. Meats that are breaded will also contain carbs and protein. These types of foods will require insulin.

How does protein affect blood sugars? You can see that protein does not have a great effect on blood sugars. However, eating a large portion or a fatty cut of protein, such as a fatty meat or a fried type of meat that may increase blood sugars later. But, in general protein does not raise blood sugars quickly. Just because it does not raise the blood sugar quickly, you should not eat protein by itself as a meal or snack to avoid an insulin shot. Eating large amounts of meat, eggs and cheese can lead to weight gain and is not healthy for your heart.

What types of protein should you eat? Healthy types of protein foods you should choose more often such as turkey or chicken breast without the skin, pork tenderloin or a center-cut chop, eggs, maybe up to eating seven yolks per week is allowed. Fish or shellfish that’s not fried, nuts and nut butters, lean beef such as sirloin or tenderloin, ground beef that’s 90 percent lean or higher, lighter low fat cheese, turkey, bacon or sausage and, soy meats.

The types of meats that you want to avoid most of the time or protein foods that are not as healthy would be fried meats, chicken or turkey wings or legs with the skin, fried fish or shellfish, full-fat cheese, ground beef that’s 85 percent lean or lower, salami, bologna, pepperoni, bacon, sausage and ribs.

How much protein should you eat? You can see according to the plate, about a quarter of the plate or a fourth of the plate should be filled with the lean type of protein. This is also similar to something that looks like a deck of cards.

Topics Covered: Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, Cystic Fibrosis-related Diabetes

Related Centers and Programs: Diabetes Center