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High Protein Diets - Risky for Diabetics?


Many people with diabetes wonder if high protein diets are risky for diabetics. There are many diets available that offer quick weight loss. Some of these diets encourage eating more protein and less carbohydrates as the secret to weight loss success. This eating approach may seem like a good plan if you have diabetes, however, these diets do not come without risks.

Eating more protein and less high glycemic index carbs seems to make sense. Low Carb Salmon plateProtein and carbs contain the same energy, 4 calories per gram. But, protein stays in your stomach longer thereby giving you a filled feeling for a longer period of time than carbohydrates. Also, protein does not affect blood sugar. However, the American Diabetes Association does not recommend high protein diets because the long term effects and complications are unknown. Chronic kidney disease is the stumbling block.

What is known?
Chronic kidney disease is a long term complication of diabetes. The kidneys get rid of urea, the by-product of protein digestion. If your kidneys are not working properly, it is harder for them to clean the urea out of the blood. If your doctor has told you that you have lost kidney function, you may need to eat a lot less protein. For more detailed information from Click the National Kidney Foundation.

What foods contain protein?
There are certain foods that are considered protein foods. Protein is found in large amounts in animal foods such as:

  • poultry
  • meat
  • seafood
  • eggs
  • cheese
  • milk
  • cottage cheese
  • Peanut butter and tofu are also high in protein

Following a diet that encourages large amounts of these foods could be harmful if you have kidney disease. If you have been told you need to follow a diabetic-renal diet, visit a Registered Dietitian that can develop a plan based on your specific needs. Even if you don't have kidney disease, you still speak with a health care professional for their guidance.

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Diet for Diabetes
Diet for Diabetes