Nut Butter & Blood Sugar
By Christel Oerum, type 1 diabetic and owner of TheFitBlog.com
As a person living with diabetes, I am always looking for healthy and tasty foods that have minimal effect on my blood sugar.
Including high quality good fats in your diet is essential, whether you are watching your blood sugar or not, so healthy high-fat foods like nut butters are great in moderate amounts.
The beauty of including nut butter in your diet isn’t just that it’s a great source of healthy fats, but also that including fats with your meals can help slow down the release of glucose into your blood stream.
Because fat takes a long time to move through the gastrointestinal tract (it can take 4 to 6 hours and sometimes even longer to be fully metabolized), it helps “bind” the glucose (carbs) for a part of that time, minimizing the spike in blood sugar you often see after a meal.
While nut butters are great for the reason stated above, it can be really challenging to find a brand that won’t cause havoc on your blood sugar if you like the sweet and flavored nut butters (like I do).
Most flavored nut butters (and even some of the unflavored ones) are sweetened with carb-rich sweeteners such as sugar, honey, or molasses that will make blood sugars increase at a scary fast rate. Or they contain artificial sweeteners that can cause havoc on your digestion.
The Legendary Foods nut butters are different because they are flavored with natural blood sugar neutral sweeteners such as Stevia. That’s fantastic news for anybody watching their blood sugar.
To test the blood sugar impact of Legendary Food’s nut butters, I performed the experiment described below.
A word of warning to people with diabetes: While adding healthy fat to a regular healthy meal is great for blood sugar control, meals that are very high in both carbs and fat (like pizza) are a different story. They typically result in BOTH a blood sugar spike and hours of elevated blood sugars. You can read about how to handle high-carb, high-fat meals in this article.
How the Legendary Foods nut butter affect my blood sugar
To test this, I had a tablespoon of my favorite flavor, the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Nut Butter, with nothing else one afternoon, just to see what it would do to my blood sugars. I had 0.5 units of insulin on board from lunch but didn’t take any insulin for the 5 grams of carbs in the nut butter.
Below you can see what happened to my blood sugar after eating tablespoon nut butter at 2:44 PM. Nothing!
This is what I want to see if I am eating a product that claims to have no added sugar!
In general, I didn’t see any blood sugar impact when I ate the nut butters, except what I would normally see from the meal where I included the nut butters, so I’m pretty confident in my assessment that it has minimal blood sugar impact.
I will happily put a generous dollop of Legendary Foods nut butter on my protein pancakes in the morning and start the day with great blood sugar!