Diabetes is a chronic medical condition which is affecting millions of people today. If left untreated diabetes could lead to poor health outcomes. However, type 2 diabetes is a condition which can be well-managed by a healthy lifestyle and regular physical activity. A healthy lifestyle includes balanced diet and nourishing foods that are important for your overall health and effective in lowering blood sugar levels. A diet rich in protein can also be beneficial for managing diabetes. The wonder nutrient protein is one of three essential macronutrients; needed in large amounts for overall health and performing the important body’s functions. The other two macronutrients are fats and carbohydrates. The body uses the nutrient protein to build, repair and maintain most of your body’s tissues and organs.
According to the nutritionist Nmami Agarwal, “A well balanced diet is always recommended when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. However, even after pulling yourself to the core to achieve the same one or the second person out of the race is diagnosed with chronic medical condition- diabetes. Fortunately, diabetes (Type-2) can be positively managed by having and balanced and nourished diet which at the same is rich in protein- a beneficial macro-nutrient well conversed for managing diabetes.”
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A protein-rich diet is beneficial as it leads to weight loss and reduces the intake of carbohydrates. When protein is consumed in excess quantities, it is converted into glucose and can be used as a source of fuel or stored as fat.
High protein diet leads to weight loss because individuals begin to consume less carbohydrates and fats
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Some of the health benefits of a protein-rich food:
1. A diet high in protein and low in carbohydrate causes ketosis. The body changes from burning carbohydrates or energy to burning fat and produces ketones that suppress the appetite
2. Protein takes a longer time to digest and makes you full for a longer period of time. This further prevents you from overeating in the next meal
3. Improved blood lipid level
4. Improvement of insulin and control of blood glucose
5. High protein diet leads to weight loss because individuals begin to consume less carbohydrates and fats
According to the Delhi based nutritionist Monisha Ashokan, “Protein has a high satiety value as compared to carbohydrate and thus keeps you full for longer. This also makes sure that you eat lesser in terms of portion size. Simple carbohydrates like bread, sugar, pastas and pizzas raise blood glucose rapidly which causes problems for diabetics, protein does not do that. Lean meats like fish, chicken and eggs are low in fat and high in protein which further helps diabetics in losing weight. Whole pulses, legumes and broccoli which are an excellent source of protein also contain fiber, which plays an important role in the maintenance of blood glucose.”
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When people suffering from diabetes choose proteins they also have to see the fat and carbohydrate content these foods contain. Some types of carbohydrates, for instance, are quickly converted to glucose, which may lead to a spike. As one eats a high-fat and high-carb diet it can lead to weight gain which further leads to increased blood sugar levels. However, the right amount of protein helps manage diabetes. It can also control your appetite and can help in shedding those extra kilos and keep it off forever. Weight management can indeed lower your blood sugar levels.
Some types of carbohydrates, for instance, are quickly converted to glucose, which may lead to a spike.
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“Incorporating protein in your diet has been proved to manage diabetes as protein in diet edge off the hunger speeding up the weight loss process inside which, in return help lower your blood sugar levels while stimulating insulin release. In addition to that, protein makes the stomach get empty slowly causing protein itself stick around a little longer. This whole process delays the starch from entering your gut- (where it’s turned into glucose before reaching in bloodstreams), preventing quick spike in blood sugar levels. Hence, having a protein-rich diet will cause a gradual and smaller rise in your blood sugar levels while managing diabetes,” nutritionist Nmami Agarwal further added.