Protein Before Carbs? The Trick to Managing Your Diabetes

Protein Before Carbs? The Trick to Managing Your Diabetes

New studies show that having protein before carbohydrates in a meal can help you more easily attain blood sugar control.

Medical centers are looking at the simple order of eating as a way to improve blood sugar. They have shown that if vegetables and lean protein are eaten before carbohydrates, such as fruit and starches, there is much improved blood glucose control. Although the mechanism has not been identified and more studies are planned, it’s a giant step toward understanding how our diet affects our diabetes, and even our energy levels and cardiovascular risk, for those without diabetes.

Knowing this information may be especially helpful as we plan out meals. Historically, meals start with a salad and/or soup, which usually contain mostly vegetables, meaning they're higher in fiber and contain just a little protein. Although this pattern has basically disappeared for many, this latest research provides substantial reason for pre-meal soup and salads to come back as the norm, especially in the form of vegetable puree-based soups and salad dressings.

I encourage everyone to take advantage of the fresh produce available this time of year, but frozen will also take you far. Always keep your proteins readily available. If you eat meat, have your poultry, beef, pork, or fish cooked in small amounts and ready, so you have them ready to go during the week.

Use your broths, either fresh or purchased, to help pre-batch cooked vegetables to optimize quick soups that can be frozen in small amounts and taken to work. Add beans, peas and lentils frequently. Dried versions are very easy to quick consistently in a crockpot with other vegetables for flavor and portion up for meals throughout the week. All of these freeze well after you have cooked them.

A cup of plain or pureed vegetable soup with a dash of whey protein powder can be spiced up with any variety of seasonings. A quick soup with a diced chicken breast chopped over a vegetable salad is a brilliantly quick meal. End it with a refreshing apple or other fruit and big glass of ice water with cucumber or lemon.

With this simple method, it’s possible your blood glucose values will improve and, when this happens, all sorts of great things happen!

Find out what boosts help tame blood sugars and read more about how to manage your diabetes.

Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator

Comment by bridgett1147
October 19, 2015
just received my nutra bullet can't wait to get started on feeling better n lose some pounds YES
Comment by litmistic
October 18, 2015
You have to add protien like nuts , yogurt, cheese , chicken, fish, meat, beans or nuts with each meal so your sugar stay steady and does not spike.. 2 servings per meal and 1 per snacks. I don't eat a lot of flesh but when I do I have 1/2 breast chicken and maybe cheese, nuts for snack 1 oz aday , or beans with meat or cheese. It has helped me lose 30 lbs. AMazing what the protien diet does. Hope this helps.
Comment by fireflynoctopi
September 17, 2015 are you saying that as long as the protein portion of your meal goes in your mouth before the starches, no matter how quickly, there's going to be better glucose readings?
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