Does Eating Fat Keep Blood Sugar Down?

A coaching client in Chicago has had type-1 diabetes for 28 years. Lindsay’s taken to drinking “bullet-proof coffee” in the morning. Just coffee blended with butter. She takes no bolus. Just rides on her basal insulin for the entire morning. No significant blood sugar rise.

Recently she told me that she forgot to add the butter to her coffee. Instead of her usual blood sugar of around 100mg/dL, it rose much higher. Zero calories, yet her blood sugar went up.

Last post, I talked about how covering your food in fat, doesn’t require you cover it with extra insulin. Most fat won’t put blood sugar up. But will it help keep blood sugar low? Maybe. But why?

My guess is that skipping food in the morning can be stressful to some people. When the body gets stressed it produces cortisol. “Under stressful conditions,” states Dina Aronson, MS, RD in Today’s Dietitian, “cortisol provides the body with glucose by tapping into protein stores via gluconeogenesis in the liver.”

So you would think that eating nothing would keep your blood sugar more stable. But this may not be true. Fasting, especially if you’re unwell, may just alarm your body. It thinks there’s a food shortage. But add a few tablespoons of fat to the mix, and the body relaxes. Four tablespoons of ghee, for example, contains over 400 calories. That may be enough to stop your pituitary gland from declaring an emergency and ramping up your adrenals. But, unlike carbs, fat won’t ramp up your need for insulin.

Thinking outside the type-1 matrix,
–John C. A. Manley

P.S. It’s one thing to bolus for carbs, protein and fiber. It’s rather hard, though, to bolus for stress. Next post, I’ll share a straight forward way to prevent the release of cortisol when life tries to stress you out. Until then, check out Two Burnt-Out Adrenals, One Weak Thyroid and Type-1 Diabetes for more information on a possible connection between adreneal health and type-1 diabetes.

P.P.S. For help maintaining normal blood sugars and HgbA1C below 5.5% you can contact me about telephone or email coaching.

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