Outside of deliciousness, what else can I expect when adding a spoonful of peanut butter?

I’ve heard of the Glycemic Index since my first steps as a diabetic, but only recently have I given it more attention than a split second’s glance. I gave it a full 12 seconds glance and can no longer remember anything more about it than some foods take longer to process. :thinking: And I may have made that part of it up.

I DO know fat is supposed to slow down a spike… or decrease it? Or both?

The harder I try to get out a logical sentence, the more I realize I don’t actually have any idea what I’m talking about. Which is why I’m writing this… I could click on an article, but why? No article that I’m aware of (I haven’t searched) can provide insight into the kind of scenario I have in mind… so I turn to you all.

Let’s say it’s midnight, I should be asleep, I want popcorn but have gotten my mind wrapped around settling on a peach. 13g of carbs-ish. My line is nice and flat, and I don’t particularly want to make it messy. Would eating a spoonful of peanut butter (or any other kind of high fat food) slow down the spike from that peach? Is it the rate? Is it how high I spike? Both? Or is it just yummy and not gonna work that way?

I think about this a lot. I often think in my mind… where I do most of my thinking… a piece of cheese is like a speed bump. When eaten with carbs, it slows everything down. As do peanuts or almonds… In reality, would there be any difference at all if I were to eat a banana by itself versus a banana with a spoonful of peanut butter? If so, what would it look like?

I’m not looking for a magic solution or a one size fits all. Just ideas. I’m curious what you all know about it and whether it’s another tool for good management or not really a thing at all…


Well I think you are combining two thoughts in one here.

Glycemic index, i.e. a numerical measure of how close to pure glucose a food will be absorbed in a scientific experiment, so in theory if you only ate one thing and measured the glycemic rise then the index works pretty well.

Second idea, eating more than one thing at a time. what will happen in my stomach? I would think that a spoonful of peanut butter and a banana wouldn’t change your glucose response much (other than accounting for the additional carbs from the peanut butter) since you aren’t really filling your stomach and making it work hard. With that said, I am sure there is some amount of fat that when also taken will slow down the absorption of the banana. But then you are ingesting an amazing amount of calories.

I like to think of the peanut butter or cheese not as a way to slow down the carb absorption of the banana, but to give your body something it can digest a little slower and deliver carbs over a longer period of time. Although if you eating sugar laden store purchased peanut butter, then you get the predictable response.


Hmmm, good question. Personally, I find the effect of an addition of a tablespoon or two of fat like peanut butter a negligible thing when paired with spiky carbs (which every fruit except berries are for me). I do use peanut butter (Jif, so it has sugar) for almost-lows, though, or when I think I might dip low if I don’t eat something. It raises me just enough initially, and lasts long enough to hold me til the next meal without dropping again.


Fair enough. I had a feeling it wasn’t quite so simple, but as I said, there’s lot I’ve missed along the way, too. I certainly don’t need a spoonful of peanut butter at every turn.

So do you ever use the GI Index for anything? Do you ever consider the kind of information in it when making treatment decisions or food choices? Is that even what it’s called? :slight_smile:

That’s an excellent way to use peanut butter… and polar opposite of what I was thinking it would be good for.

I actually got the idea from my (non-d) dad. He almost always eats a spoonful of peanut butter if he is hungry and it’s too close to a meal to snack.

Dark chocolate (72%), 1 small square works well too.

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I learned about this many years ago, and remember seeing lists of foods with their corresponding GI number. What I recall is to choose foods with the smaller numbers, as they would raise BG more slowly, and match the timing of insulin better.

I think table sugar was rated 100 as the basis.


I don’t look up the GI for foods anymore, although I did at first after diagnosis. Of my routine foods, I know which ones will burn up quick and spike me faster than others.

When I was tracking my calories a few months ago, I never realized how full of fat my tacos are…but paying attention now, they do burn longer and slower for my blood sugar, so they definitely earn an extended bolus. So the fat does slow them down quite a bit.

But on the fat/protein front, I’ve never gone low-carb bc I find I can deal with carb spikes more predictably than I have ever been able to fine-tune with long-burning protein and fat meals. I can better ball park unusual meal doses if they involve non-routine carb foods for me than I can predict non-routine high fat/protein foods for me.

@Pianoplayer7008 and @MM2, yes to both peanut butter and also Dove dark chocolates. My best methods for dealing w slow creeping lowering trends.


Oh, yes, we can’t forget the chocolate! :yum:

I actually think this will make things harder for you, because peanut butter digests slowly and will spike you on its own over a couple of hours. I’m completely addicted to it, but I have to use Regular insulin for it on MDI or a square wave when pumping. I find it very useful to eat before exercise, but before sleep would be the worst because I’ll probably wake up high if I don’t time the insulin right. I also think combining it with a peach will slow down the digestion somewhat of the peach carbs, but again this is bad if you’re going to sleep because you’ll spike later. Popcorn is another one that will spike you later btw (because of the oil).

I would say we use glycemic index for little at this point. Now my son looks at the makeup of the meal and decides on an insulin shape and accomplishes that with his pump. When we were first starting out we referred to it in an attempt to figure out what type of treatment to deliver i.e. one shot as a prebolus, and a second shot at some point in the future to try and control something. In our world, we sort of consider if something is higher on the index we need to ensure a negative blood sugar trend before eating…

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I often have peanut butter sandwiches for lunch with a minimum swab of jelly, just enough to get the flavor. There is definitely a delayed spike from the fatty peanut butter slowing down the other carbs associated with the PBJ sandwich. For me I usually do an a full pre-bolus plus an after meal Fiasp bolus about 30-45 minutes after the PBJ to mitigate the spike. I use the Adams low sugar PB. I don’t know the GI value of a peach but personally would always pre-bolus for it, even with the PB theoretically slowing it down.

For late night snacks I am partial to Clif Mojo Sweet & Salty bars for the purpose you noted: trending low and wanting a gradual rise but not a spike. The bars say “low glycemic” on the label but I have no idea what the GI value is for them. For a small snack half a bar is only 10 grams of carbs. Some of the Kind bars are also lowish carb and slow GI. I also eat raisins out of the small boxes (20 grams carbs per box). If I want a small quick boost I eat half a box, for a longer lasting boost a whole box. I also think that thoroughly chewing can quicken the GI of raisins versus gobbling them down which seems to slow the GI value. Haagen Dazs ice cream also seems pretty slow to me, probably because of the high fat content.


This may have been where I got the idea in my head about the peanut butter… from the fact that high fat high carb foods usually have a slow er rise. I have been told a million times that I can’t correct with a candy bar or ice cream or anything of the such. So if the peanuts and chocolate in a candy bar slow everything down, then why wouldn’t a handful of peanuts along with an apple slow it down… or at least that was what came to mind. Interesting responses… but maybe I’ll attempt to test this out someday.

Thanks for the response. You’ve also given me a few ideas for some late night snacks to try. Next up is to try a different routine with the insulin… maybe. But first, sleep. :slightly_smiling_face:

Your body may act entirely differently, but for me, late-night snacks are usually problematic. You eat, you go to bed (or are inactive compared with the rest of the day), and everything slows down, including digestion. It doesn’t matter what the food is, it is going to digest very differently late at night than it does at noon, with obvious ramifications on blood sugar.

After breakfast or lunch, I see the expected post-prandial rise followed by a drop to target level in two or three hours (or hopefully I do). I generally eat dinner later, and especially if I turn in shortly after dinner, what happens on my CGM is a nice even line for a few hours and then slowly up it goes as everything gradually gets digested.

Plus for most people late-night snacking is a prime culprit in weight gain.

@Nickyghaleb, I think your general premise is sound. I’ve been told to pair pb with an apple or bread to slow down the spike. I just have had a hard time quantifying and predicting it so, as with everything diabetes in my life, it requires test, observe, test, observe, test it again.

But I think you are generally correct.

I have also had to relearn the lesson of only treating lows with fast carbs because I do it with much better moderation since the results shine through quicker. If I have a slow downward trend and I have plenty of room before I’m actually close to being low, I’ll try using something fun to dampen the trend at first, but then if that doesn’t work as expected I have to switch to un-fun things to catch the drop (glucose tabs or apple juice) so that I don’t overdo it on the fun side of things. I relearn this lesson a lot. :slight_smile:


Holy cow! Don’t tell @Eric or @daisymae that! Their chocolate ambitions will be dashed.


An ice cream bar was my low treatment of choice while pregnant. :yum:

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Nope. My body acts entirely the same with late-night snacks. [quote=“Beacher, post:15, topic:4431”]

Plus for most people late-night snacking is a prime culprit in weight gain.

Yup. Same. There’s no hiding it when I’ve slipped back into that old routine. Which is too bad because I find things just taste way better late at night. :smiley:

In reality, it’s about 50/50 whether or not I will need anything at all before going to bed. Sometimes I’m fine, and eating something will mess me up. Sometimes NOT eating is going to make for a whole bunch of nonsense all night long with suspends and alarms and glucose tablets. It’s ever having to go into the pantry at night that makes just saying no to late night snacks hard. And now I’m boring myself with my sob story… so I’ll stop. :smiley:

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