If you are on a low-carb diet, it’s easy to assume that your blood sugar is in the healthy range. In this article, I’ll we explore the reasons why this assumption is sometimes not accurate.
First, you should know that most foods don’t contain one single group of nutrients exclusively. Many of our protein sources have some carbs or fats in them, albeit in lower quantities. E.g., egg, cheese, etc.
While you may not be actively consuming a ton of carbs, you’re probably still getting them from your drinks and other sources.
So, blood glucose spikes aren’t uncommon when you’re on a low-carb-high-fat diet.
Another important reason is that you’re probably eating more protein and fat than you need.
How does an abnormally high protein and fat consumption lead to higher blood glucose levels?
Well, through a chain effect, high protein consumption triggers the release of stored glucose from the liver. This leads to a net increase in your post-meal blood sugar level.
So, if you’re on a protein-based diet, then you may need to add a couple of healthy carbs to get your blood sugar down. Or if you’re eating too much protein along with other macros in general, just make sure that you vary your protein sources by eating other types of proteins.
On the other hand, fat consumption delays stomach emptying and increases insulin resistance, which also ultimately results in a late post-meal rise in blood glucose. (1)
What's the right kind of protein?
Unprocessed red meat is a particularly good source. And apparently, it has a special fat-burning enzyme in it, called carnitine – which has been shown to significantly reduce belly fat. (2)
Other good sources of protein are fish, milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, ham, seeds, soybeans, nuts, and peas.
But you need to be aware of one thing. Too much meat can cause a blood glucose spike. This is because it’s too high in protein and fat. If you’re eating a lot of meat, it’s important to eat other foods to keep your blood sugar down.
How Much Protein Can Trigger Your Liver To Release Your Stored Glucose?
Well, it depends on individual health and body type.
But for most people, three or four ounces of meat is enough to spike your blood sugar — especially if it’s not combined with other foods.
With That Said, How Do You Know If You're Eating Too Much Protein?
If you’re already on a low-carb-high-fat diet, you should monitor your blood glucose over the next few days and see what happens. If it goes up and continues overtime, then there’s probably something going on.
And if that’s the case, you may want to take it seriously before it leads to complications.