Can Protein Affect Your Blood Sugar?

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Low Carbohydrate Dieters: Beware Of High Protein Intake

Most of us have heard something about low carb dieting. Whether it is the Atkins Diet or the Paleo Diet, carbohydrate restriction is becoming more popular as more people experience dramatic weight loss. While restricting carbohydrate intake does offer several health benefits, there are also dangers involved with eating too much protein. Not only does excessive dietary protein burden the digestive system, it can also contribute to the production of sugar in the body and even inhibit the body’s ability to naturally detoxify! Eating a low carb diet doesn't mean that you have to overload your plate with protein at every meal! Moderating protein in your diet can help you to live longer, limit sugar, and even improve daily digestion. Weight loss is not the only benefit of carbohydrate restriction. When done correctly, a low carb diet can help to control blood sugar, and it can even reverse insulin resistance, helping to heal disorders that are related to a sugar-heavy diet, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Low carb diets can also help to cool down chronic inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and several autoimmune conditions. Part of the overall success of a lo Continue reading >>

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  1. BigdogEMT

    Hello I'm new here, not new to low carb (but keto is a bit diff). I have been a type 2 diabetic for maybe 8 years diagnosed. And take metformin, glipizide, and januvia. My sugars stay high unless I'm low carbing it. Last a1c was 6.4 down from 7.4 3 months earlier.
    So I know it works but mu question is why I still have a 160-200 fasting blood sugar in the am? I haven't had over 10-15 gm of carbs for 4 days!
    It's just frustrating, my doctor tells me to not sweat it he just looks at the a1c!
    But I know what it's doing to my body while its high!

  2. Barbara_Greenwood

    Hi Bigdog, welcome.
    Let me guess.... if you test before lunch or dinner, your level is lower, yes? If so, you are experiencing Dawn Phenomenon, which is very common among T2's. Due to loads of hormone stuff which is to do with getting ready to wake up and take on the day, your liver dumps glucose into your blood. Actually, this always happens, but in people with T2 it really goes overboard.
    I have recently (3 days ago) started using the Freestyle Libre, which is a flash glucose monitoring system. I have a patch stuck on my arm, with a little filament sticking just under my skin. It measures glucose in interstitial fluid, which tracks blood glucose pretty well. It records it every 15 minutes, I scan it with a little reader device and then I can see exactly what has been going on.
    I've discovered that my BG is at a normal level right through the night, starts creeping up about 5am and rises inexorably till about 10am, after which it decreases slightly. And when the meals I eat are low carb, it barely rises at all after eating. However, the rise in the morning is so steep that, depending what time I tested my blood, it would be either a good or a bad day.
    So, your doctor has a point in that your A1C averages out what's going on across the day as a whole. But it is still important to get those morning readings down, because they do contribute to damage at the levels you mentioned.
    I would say give it more time - stick with the very low carb, and you will see your morning readings improve. But also - there are various things people suggest to blunt Dawn Phenomenon. Some swear by a protein snack before bed, or a fatty snack, or a small breakfast..... but what works for one apparently doesn't work for all.

    I've just set out on a programme of quantifying my Dawn Phenomenon when I try different food/drink options, both in the evening and at bedtime. Over time, I'll be able to track down what works for me - and the Libre will help a lot with that because I don't have to guess when is the best time to test, I get a pretty good picture each day of how much my BG has risen over the morning.

  3. BillJay


    My sugars stay high unless I'm low carbing it. Last a1c was 6.4 down from 7.4 3 months earlier.
    As @Barbara_Greenwood says, Dawn Phenomenon (DP) is probably why your fasting glucose is high.
    As I mentioned in another thread, I'm a recovered T2DM that had it pretty bad initially until I realized that I had a disease of blood glucose that was too high and it made no sense whatsoever to eat foods that turn into blood glucose, ever.
    The problem was that I struggled for years with the cognitive dissonance from what I had heard about carbs=good and fat=bad, but I remained aware that I have a disease of blood sugar regulation and if I ate something that raised it, it was bad.

    Finally, I gave in to keto and as far as I'm concerned, carbs are poison unless they come from non-starchy vegetables.

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