The idea that some protein consumed is transformed into blood glucose and that ingesting too much protein will cause kidney damage are two widespread misconceptions concerning the role of dietary protein in the management of diabetes. These myths have been proven false.
Currently, protein intake recommendations are based on an individual's assessment as well as taking other health conditions and their effects into account, such as the degree of glycemic control, the existence of kidney disease, overweight and obesity, and the patient's age.
The target for many patients with type 2 diabetes is to consume 1.5-2 g/kg i.e., 20–30% of total calories as protein for patients with normal kidney function. This much protein can help with glycemic management, satiety, and the maintenance of lean body mass during weight loss in those with diabetes and prediabetes, as well as meeting the higher protein needs of older adults.
Plant-based protein for diabetes management
The components of a whole-foods plant-based diet include; legumes, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. These foods along with little to no consumption of refined foods and animal products, are widely acknowledged to be highly advantageous for both avoiding and treating type 2 diabetes.
Plant protein comes as a health package as it is associated with high fiber, antioxidants and vitamins and minerals like magnesium, which have been shown to improve the insulin sensitivity. Being rich in fiber, plant protein provides satiety and prevents overeating and weight gain thus reducing insulin resistance. Additionally, plant-based diets tend to be low in saturated fats which makes them more beneficial for diabetes management.
Tips to increase daily protein intake
Include Protein in all meals
Eat your Protein first in the meal, this also prevents overeating as protein gives satiety
Make sure to have whole grain cereal - pulse combinations in your meals e.g., Dal khichdi, millet dosa, millet idli, Hummus with whole grain bread/ khakhra, etc.
Make a habit to carry fistful of nuts and seeds while travelling
Healthy plant-based Protein choices:
- Nuts & seeds: Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, etc.
- Beans & legumes: Soybean, Chickpeas, Green peas, Black peas, Kidney beans, green gram (moong), Bengal gram (Chana), etc.
- Whole grains and Millets: Jowar, Little millet, Amaranth, Kodo millet, etc.
- Prolicious Foods
Take home message
Protein does play a very important role in diabetes management. But considering our fast-paced busy lifestyles, do we really eat enough protein? Do we have enough time to go and buy these healthy protein foods and make sure that we consume them daily?
The ultimate solution is to rely on the ready to eat or ready to cook so called “healthy foods” available in the market. But is this really healthy?
Considering your needs and concerns, Prolicious has introduced a whole range of plant-based high protein foods, which taste just like your home-made foods, made under 15 minutes, are healthy and diabetes friendly.
Prolicious products are made with goodness of pulses, legumes and millets to provide a high protein, low in glycemic index alternative to regularly consumed foods.
Explore for more information: www.prolicious.com
About the Author
M.Sc. Foods, Nutrition & Dietetics, CDE.
A life member of the Indian Dietetics Association, she has a varied experience working with, community nutrition, diet consultations, clinical nutrition and Food Industry. Has done research paper presentation at IDA conference 2018 and published a paper in International journal (IJRAR).
She is a passionate Food & Nutrition professional with a warm and friendly demeanor always!