Does Protein Diet Help to Control Type 2 Diabetes?

Aug 05, 2014
Tagged with: Does Protein Diet Help to Control Type 2 Diabetes?
  • Diet is the most important contributory factor to Type 2 diabetes besides other lifestyle habits like lack of exercise, stress, etc. Following a proper diet plan low in carbohydrates and high in fiber and other nutrients in balanced quantity you can curb your blood glucose level to a great extent. Recent various medical studies observed that protein rich diet can play a positive role in lowering blood glucose and curbing the insulin resistance in Type 2 diabetes. Though intake of protein and its effect on diabetic cases suffering from insulin resistance is a much debatable one, there are few aspects that we can consider here.


  1. Protein coupled up with carbohydrates makes glucose conversion slow


We all know that simple carbohydrates like rice, pasta, white flower, etc. are not only rich in glucose content but they spike the blood sugar level quickly after consuming them in a meal. But when they are taken along with protein foods like meat, fish, chicken, etc. it takes longer for the carbohydrates to convert in blood sugar. For instance, taking a rice meal in moderate proportion is alright if you are consuming a healthy proportion of animal protein like chicken or fish with it. Obviously, such a meal must be planned with other fiber rich nutrients like green leafy and non-starchy vegetables.


  1. Protein helps to stimulate insulin release


The most important aspect of protein consumption in Type 2 diabetes is the stimulation of pancreatic glands that are responsible for the release of insulin. Insulin is the hormone that regulates the blood glucose level by facilitating consumption of glucose by the body cells through the process of metabolism. Now when body cells become resistant to insulin, we experience a spike in blood glucose level and that is purely the case of Type 2 diabetes. Various medical experiments and studies have confirmed that protein help stimulating the insulin producing pancreatic glands to prevent it from working which frequently happens in cases of Type 2 diabetes.


  1. Protein slows down metabolism


Protein foods, particularly animal proteins like fishes, meat, chicken, etc. are high in dietary fiber and so they take longer time to digest leaving your stomach fuller for longer. This not only helps you to consume less food but it helps to slow down metabolism and consequent glucose conversion. Consuming protein foods with moderate curbs thus prevents a steady and fast rise in blood glucose level.


  1. Effect of High Protein Diet in Type 2 Diabetes – A case Study


Recently in a medical study the positive effect of high protein diet on people with Type 2 diabetes has been revealed. Twelve persons with Type 2 diabetes were subjected to a high-protein diet and a typically diabetes-control diet. Each type of diet was given for 5 weeks with an interval and washout period of 2 to 5 weeks in between. Typical protein to carbohydrate to fat ratio in high-protein diet was 30:40:30 and the same in control diet was15:55:30. With the weight of the participating patients showing no difference, researchers observed some crucial and positive impacts in respect of blood glucose level. Patients when subjected to high protein diet have shown a significant 40% decrease in the next 24 hour blood glucose level. Patients consuming high protein diet have also shown other positive outcomes like a sharp decrease in glycated hemoglobin (0.8% vs. 0.3%; P < .05) and much lower fasting triacylglycerol (P< .03).


  1. Choosing lean-fat protein sources is healthier


While choosing protein for your diet plan always favor the lean-fat ones over those with high amount of saturated fat. Chicken is healthier alternative with lean fat, while beef, ham or mutton are high in saturated fat and can help you gain weight and suffer from other complications. Fishes are also relatively healthy source of proteins, particularly fishes with Omega-3 fatty acids like tuna, Solomon, sardines, etc. People suffering from Type 2 diabetes tend to suffer from obesity or overweight syndromes as well and they are more prone to heart and other critical disorders. So while consuming proteins in diet one must beware of saturated fat contents and should choose the healthier protein foods.


Though proteins have some crucial benefits as for preventing sharp spike in blood sugar level in Type 2 diabetes, their consumption must be regulated with an appropriate diet plan. Remember, most proteins in 4 to 5 hours after taking a meal are converted to blood glucose and so they are not absolutely safe harbor to bank upon your diet concerns. A diet planned with all types of non-starchy, low glucose nutrients along with a very moderate level of carbohydrate and protein is the best dietary way to address the issue.

NCHPAD articles:


Brendon Buthello, health writer at shares some clinical insights into the effectiveness of protein in keeping Type 2 diabetes in check.

Author: Brendon Buthello