Protein and Diabetes
Protein is one of the most important components of a healthy diabetes diet. Amino acids from protein becomes like insulin; hormones, enzymes, organs and muscles. Diabetics need to eat a balanced healthy diet of the recommended amount of proteins, carbohydrates, and, fats.
Not only will a protein-rich diabetes diet help to ensure that your cells function optimally, but protein also helps to control your appetite so that you are less hungry throughout the day.
Here are a few important facts about protein and Diabetes:
- Adults Diabetics should consume between 50 and 60 grams(g) of protein per day (depending on your body weight.)
- 8 ounces of meat contain the recommended amount of protein.
- Protein makes amino acids. Cells use amino acids to make new proteins and repair muscles, skin, organs, blood, and bones throughout the body.
- Protein helps to heal wounds and help blood clot.
- Protein also regulates hormones like insulin and glucagon, and creates antibodies. Antibodies attack foreign things like bacteria that enter the body (antigens).
- The body uses all 22 types of amino acids. However, the body can only make 13 of these amino acids (and has to get the other nine from food sources.)
- Protein can be stored as fat or converted to carbohydrates. The process of converting protein to carbohydrates is called Gluconeogenesis. This process happens in the liver and kidneys.
- Children require protein to grow. However, children only need between 22 and 28 grams of protein per day.
It is important to eat a protein-rich diet.
Protein-rich foods make up about 15 percent of the daily diet.
- In order to get enough protein, it is recommended that people consume about 2 -3 servings of low-fat dairy products and 2-3 servings of lean meat products each day (which includes meat, fish, and poultry.) Tofu is often substituted for meat.
- Foods that are high in protein include foods from animals such as meat, eggs and milk and milk products like cheese, yogurt. Other sources include soy, nuts, beans, and lentils.
- Chicken, baked or grilled
- Fish, Baked or grilled, or tuna fish salad
- Baked or grilled cheese burger from turkey or beef
- Cheese sandwich using low cholesterol cheese, cheese pizza
- Tofu stir fry
- Cooking chicken breast without the skin
- Low fat beef
- Drinking skim milk (0% fat)
- Cooking protein in vegetable oils like Olive oil, and Canola oil
Protein-rich snacks include: cheese sticks, a handful of almonds, a South Beach Diet breakfast bar, and grilled chicken fingers.
Type 2 Diabetics should eat low fat protein in order to reduce the intake of saturated fats. This can be done by:
If you’re looking for some great Diabetes menu planning tips, take a look at our Diabetes menu planning section.
A great diabetes meal planner should serve good food in
Portion Control plates…Don’t over eat!