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The Protein Power-Up: Your Ultimate Guide to Balancing Your Blood Sugar with Protein



Introduction

Mediterranean Diet, eggs, whole brains, healthy fats, leafy greens. mitochondrial health.
Health protein filled breakfast.

Hey there! If you've ever found yourself in the middle of a mid-afternoon slump, reaching for that third cup of coffee or eyeing the vending machine's sugary snacks, you're not alone. But what if I told you there's a superhero nutrient that can help keep those pesky blood sugar levels in check? Yep, you guessed it—protein! In this ultimate guide to balancing your blood sugar with protein, we're going to unpack all the nitty-gritty details. We'll explore how protein works its magic, why it's a game-changer for your health, and how you can incorporate it into your diet without feeling like you're munching on cardboard. So, buckle up and get ready for a protein-packed ride!


Why Protein Packs a Punch for Blood Sugar Balance


  • Steady as She Goes: Protein helps slow down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream, which means you can say goodbye to those roller coaster highs and lows.

  • Full for Longer: Ever noticed how a high-protein meal keeps you feeling satisfied for hours? That's protein working its magic to curb those snack attacks.

  • Muscle Magic: Not only does protein help with blood sugar levels, but it also supports muscle repair and growth. Talk about a double whammy!

salmon and salad, veggies and hummus, grilled chicken and wild rice piloft, avocado toast, food as medicine. Heart Healthy protein rich foods fight fatigue, brain fog, weight gain and diabetes.
Meals with protein and fibrous vegetables keeps blood sugar stable longer between meals.

How Much Protein Do You Really Need?

Determining the right amount of protein depends on various factors including your activity level, age, muscle mass, and overall health. For adults, a common guideline is to consume between 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Sedentary individuals should aim for the lower-ish end of this range, while those who are more active or workout several times a week may require protein at the higher end to support muscle repair and growth. I personally think the 0.8 g/kg body weight is a bit on the low side and even sedentary people should aim for closer to 1.0 g/kg body weight to prevent muscle loss. More research is suggesting that older adults may need 1.4 g/kg body weight to prevent sarcopenia (muscle loss) and osteoporosis (bone density loss).


How much protein should I eat?, Lean body mass, muscle mass, weight loss medications, GLP-1, Semaglutide, Ozempic, Wegovy, Monjouro.
How much protein you should eat depends on your weight, level of physical activity and health goals such as weight loss.

To complicate matters current evidence suggests that people on weight loss medications such as Semaglutide and Tirzepatide (Ozempic, Wegovy and Monjouro) should be prioritize high protein diets (> 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day [g/kg/d] or about two times the recommended dietary allowance) and at least twice-weekly strength training to prevent loss of Lean Body Weight.


A few examples of protein needs based on weight and activity levels:

Sedentary Adults:

Suggested Protein Intake: 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Example: A 154 lbs (70 kg) sedentary adult would need approximately 56 grams of protein per day (70 kg x 0.8 g/kg).


Active Adults:

Suggested Protein Intake: Up to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for those who engage in regular, intense exercise.

Example: The same 70 kg adult, if active, would require up to 84 grams of protein per day (70 kg x 1.2 g/kg).


It's important to adjust your protein intake based on your specific needs and any changes in your activity level or health goals.


Your Protein Playbook: Balancing Blood Sugar with Every Bite

Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of the Day

Kickstart your day with a protein-powered breakfast to set the tone for balanced blood sugar levels. Think eggs (3 eggs is about 20 grams of protein), Greek yogurt (opt for unsweetened and add your own low sugar jam or fresh fruit to lower the glycemic impact), or a smoothie with protein powder (unflavored hydrolyzed collagen is a good choice). Trust me, your body  and brain will thank you!


Lunch and Dinner: Keep the Protein Coming

For lunch and dinner, aim for a palm-sized portion of protein. This could be chicken, fish, beef, tofu, or legumes. Pair it with lots of veggies and a complex carb for a meal that's both balanced and delicious.


Snacks: Smart Protein Picks

Snack time doesn't have to be a blood sugar disaster. Opt for high-protein snacks like nuts, cheese, or a hard-boiled egg to keep hunger and blood sugar spikes at bay. Packs of nuts are portion controlled and easy to slip into a backpack or purse for on the go protein needs.



Protein rich snack options like trail mix is important for keeping blood sugar level and preventing impulse snacking when out.
Trail mix, nuts and seeds are healthy omega-3 rich protein filled snack options ideal for on the go.

The Ultimate Guide to Balancing Your Blood Sugar with Protein: FAQs

Q: Can I get too much protein? A: Yes, it's possible, but it's not a common problem for most people. Just listen to your body and remember, balance is key!

Q: What if I'm vegetarian or vegan? A: Not a problem! There are plenty of plant-based proteins like lentils, chickpeas, and quinoa that are fantastic for balancing blood sugar.

Q: How do I know if my blood sugar is balanced? A: You'll likely notice more stable energy levels throughout the day and fewer cravings for sugary snacks. But, for the nitty-gritty details, a chat with your healthcare provider is your best bet.


Conclusion

There you have it—the ultimate guide to balancing your blood sugar with protein. By incorporating more protein into your diet, you're not just giving your body the nutrients it needs to function optimally; you're also taking a giant leap towards stabilizing your energy levels and keeping those sugar cravings in check. Remember, it's all about finding what works for you and your body. So, experiment with different protein sources, listen to your body's cues, and get ready to feel like the energizer bunny, all day long. Here's to happy, balanced blood sugar levels and feeling fab!


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