Only a small amount of the protein that we eat ends up as sugar in the bloodstream. It was previously estimated that almost 60% of the protein consumed converts to glucose. More recent research indicates that this percentage may be lower. Even though some protein is turned into glucose, this usually occurs over several hours. As a result, moderate amounts of dietary protein have little effect on blood sugar levels.
Some people notice higher blood sugars when eating large quantities of protein at one time. This may be because some of this extra protein converts to sugar. If you eat more than twice your usual amount of beef, chicken or fish (i.e. 12 oz. of steak instead of 6 oz.), check your blood sugars.
Some also notice a delayed rise in blood sugars when protein is eaten along with carbohydrate. This may be from slower digestion caused by protein or fat. Every person with diabetes is different. Learn your body's response when eating more protein than usual.
Once in a while, it may be OK to splurge on a little more protein. It won't raise blood sugars as much as eating more carbohydrate. But eating too much protein every day may not be good for the body in the long term.
If you still have questions about protein and its affect on blood sugar, contact your dietitian for more advice.