Did you know that the body needs some fat every day? Fat provides energy, protects and warms the body, and is a vital to assure that the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E & K) are utilized by the body. For most people, too much fat is a problem. Fat is high in calories. Eating too much can lead to weight gain or prevent needed weight loss. Also, certain fats raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease.
Because only 10% of the fat you eat turns into sugar, fat has little direct effect on blood sugar levels. Fat's main impact on blood sugar is indirect. Dietary fats slow the breakdown of food in the body. When fat is eaten along with carbohydrate, the blood sugar rise is slower and lasts longer.
For example, the blood sugar may peak 45 minutes after eating a plain baked potato. If this same potato was loaded with butter and sour cream, the blood sugar may not peak for an hour or more and the blood sugar may also stay high longer.
In some people, a high fat diet interferes with the blood sugar lowering effects of insulin (insulin resistance). This can make it harder to control blood sugar levels.
As with most foods, each person may respond differently to fat. The best way to learn how high fat foods affect you is to test your blood sugar before and a few hours after meals. Keep food and glucose records and look for patterns. The more you know, the better you can manage your diabetes.
If you still have questions about protein and its affect on blood sugar, contact your dietitian for more advice.