Protein plays a role in blood glucose regulation and energy metabolism through various mechanisms. While carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the body, protein can also influence blood glucose levels and contribute to energy production in several ways.
Protein can be converted into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis. During times of low carbohydrate intake or prolonged fasting, the body can break down protein (amino acids) and convert them into glucose to maintain blood sugar levels and provide energy for the brain and other tissues.
Protein consumption can stimulate the release of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin helps regulate blood glucose levels by facilitating the uptake of glucose from the bloodstream into cells. When protein is consumed along with carbohydrates, it can slow down the absorption of glucose, resulting in a more gradual release of insulin and a more stable blood sugar response.
Protein-rich foods have a satiating effect, meaning they help you feel full and satisfied after a meal. This can be beneficial for blood glucose regulation because it can reduce the likelihood of overeating or consuming excessive carbohydrates. By promoting satiety, protein can help regulate appetite and prevent rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.
Blood glucose levels essentially play a large part in our energy and how we feel throughout the day. If you feel like your energy is very up and down or you’re having an afternoon energy slump after lunch, it may be time to assess your diet and how much protein you’re eating. This is what we specialise in at Key Nutrition, so get in touch to have your diet tweaked today.