Protein and Diabetes
Protein and Diabetes
Protein is one of the most important components of a Diabetic diet –
Insulin is a protein. Diabetics needs to maintain a balanced diet of
the recommended amount of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Not only will a protein-rich diet help to ensure that your cells
function optimally, but protein also helps to control your appetite so
that you are satiated 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
- 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.
- Easy-to-make protein-rich meals include:
- 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
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:
- Eating fish
- 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
If youre looking for some great Diabetes menu planning tips, take a look at our Diabetes menu planning section.
You may also want to browse through our Diabetes Food & Grocery section for some great Diabetic snack, food storage, and Diabetes-specific nutritional supplement resources.
Click below to learn how to measure the right sized meal.