One of the best ways to manage your blood sugar is to eat a balanced diet composed of all three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Still, we know carbohydrates tend to have the most significant impact on blood sugar. In contrast, fat and protein have a more minor effect. Protein’s role in glucose absorption in your body is to slow down or blunt the release of glucose into your bloodstream. While the metabolism of macronutrients is similar, each one has a different impact on blood sugars. To understand this further, remember that protein is broken down into smaller substances called amino acids, which can help with muscle synthesis or be converted into glucose in the liver. While those amino acids may stimulate gluconeogenesis, which is the generation of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources, in the liver they do not impact how quickly the liver releases glucose into the bloodstream in the presence of adequate insulin. In other words, amino acids have a minimal impact on blood glucose levels in healthy people.
When you are living with diabetes, knowing how to manage your blood sugar levels is essential. It can help to reduce your risk of complications and can make you feel healthier. It can also empower you in the knowledge that you are doing what you can to manage your condition. While the two main types of diabetes (type 1 and type 2) vary, they do share this common factor – too much sugar in the blood. When you don’t have diabetes, the sugar level in your blood is controlled by the hormone insulin, which is released by the pancreas. For people with type 2 diabetes, this system is faulty. Either not enough insulin is being produced, or the insulin that is produced is not working. This causes the sugar in your blood to begin to build up, and can lead to lots of problems, often called diabetes complications.