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From Albany, New York, USA:

Since I have been diagnosed, endocrinologists and dietitians (including some answers from your "Ask the Diabetes Team" database) have been telling me not to cover protein (e.g. meat) in meals. I always felt this was wrong because I could see that it affected my blood sugar. I recently read that about 60% of the protein in a piece of meat becomes converted to glucose in your body. For me, that comes out to about 1 unit of Humalog per three ounces of meat. Hardly a "little effect" when you consider that a typical meal may include six ounces of meat.

So please help me and all other type 1 diabetics understand exactly how much insulin one should take to account for the protein in a meal. Why is there so much confusion on this point?


The important point here is the time course. The protein may become glucose, but over time which extends well beyond what you would see for your Humalog. Carbohydrate counting does not mean you are totally ignoring the glucose-potentiating effect of protein. It is just a practical system for matching insulin with the food you eat. I would recommend you work on an appropriate ratio of insulin per serving of carbohydrate and adjust as needed, while keeping protein content of meal similar. Note that any changes you make should be discussed with your physician before implementation.


Original posting 19 Feb 2002
Posted to Daily Care


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