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4 months ago
Should people suffering from diabetes indulge in a high-protein diet?

When we talk about diet management and diabetes, most of our discussions are limited to carbohydrates and fats. Seldom do we give any importance to proteins, the building blocks of our bodies. But turns out that if you are suffering from diabetes, incorporating protein into your diet makes it easier to deal with your fluctuating blood sugar levels and help in slow absorption of glucose in the body. In fact, protein intake is essential good for people suffering from type II diabetes. Did you know raw mango leaves can help deal with diabetes better?

In fact, dietary protein or a high-protein diet doesn’t spike the blood sugar levels like what a high-carbohydrate diet might do. Another reason to include protein in your diet is that it aids in the weight loss process. While high protein intake does not necessarily lead to weight loss directly, but in some cases, higher protein intake may reduce diabetes risk through weight loss. For individuals with type II diabetes, studies have shown that moderate weight loss (about 5 percent of body weight) is associated with decreased insulin resistance, improved measures of glycaemia and lipid profiles and reduced blood pressure. Here are few gym-safe rules to follow if you are a diabetic.

In fact, when you are counting calories and trying to lose weight, it is important that you keep the carbohydrate count low and increase your protein intake. When it comes to managing diabetes, diet and weight management are two aspects that help in this regard. So, including protein helps. ‘Moreover, protein intake helps to regulate liver functions as well and this improves insulin secretion for better dissemination of glucose to the cells,’ says Dhvani Shah, naturopath and sports nutritionist, Mumbai. Insulin is a protein chain or peptide hormone. There are 51 amino acids in an insulin molecule.

How much protein is too much?

About 45 to 50 percent of your caloric intake should come from carbohydrates, and the rest should come from fat. For a person who needs 2,000 calories per day needs about 75 to 100 grams protein per day. Now too much protein could be damaging to the kidneys too. In 2013 the American Diabetes Association (ADA) standards of care recommend an individualized approach to decision making with regard to protein intake and dietary macronutrient composition. Among individuals with impaired renal function, the ADA recommends reducing protein intake to 0.8—1.0 g/kg per day in earlier stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and to 0.8 g/kg per day in the later stages of CKD.

But if you have kidney malfunctioning or your routine urine test shows traces of protein then it could be a sign that you need to check your protein intake. Talk to your dietician or doctor to figure out exactly how much protein you can eat so that it doesn’t affect your kidneys.

What are the best sources of proteins for diabetics?

The best protein sources for diabetics would be oily fish, chicken, eggs and lean meat. Studies suggest that red meat and increase the risk of renal failure in diabetics. Vegetarian sources of protein are beans, pulses, legumes and soya.

Reference:

Beasley, J. M., & Wylie-Rosett, J. (2013). The Role of Dietary Proteins among Persons with Diabetes. Current Atherosclerosis Reports, 15(9), 10.1007/s11883—013—0348—2. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11883-013-0348-2

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