Much the same as fiber, eating quality protein with your snacks and meals can have a positive affect on your blood sugar levels. By combining protein and carbohydrates you will slow the digestions of the carbohydrates in your body. This slowing down will prevent your blood sugar from spiking as the result of too many carbohydrates in your system.
This does not mean that you should eat more protein than is recommended in one meal. Doing so can lead to other problems down the road. But if you are a diabetic, skipping protein in your diet is not a good idea. For diabetics who are vegetarians or that don’t eat a lot of any protein it is important to find a source that can be consumed on a regular basis.
There are many other sources of high-quality protein that does not include animal meats. Other protein sources can include:
- Tofu is a source of protein that can be prepared in a variety of ways including dessert tofu
- Nuts are an excellent source of protein but can be high in fat too. Read nutrition labels and enjoy in moderation
- Seeds such as flax, pumpkin, and sunflower can be eaten as a source of protein
- Beans and other members of the legume family. There are many ways to prepare beans from chili to cold salads
- Protein powders are available to sprinkle on cereals or to make into shakes for drinking
- Fish sources – be aware that large fish contain high levels of mercury and should only be eaten once or twice per week
When making protein choices, go for a lean cut whenever possible. Even though protein has a positive affect on blood sugars excessive fat can cancel out the benefit and turn it into a health risk. Enjoy high-fat meats or heavily processed meats on rare occasions and eat a wide variety of proteins.