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Diabetes and Protein Needs (II)

by Protica Research

Protein is important in the body, but can be dangerous if it makes up too much of the diet, especially in the presence of heart or kidney disease. The American Heart Association recommends that the upper limit of protein intake be no more than 35% of the daily calories, however, each diabetic's doctor will set specific dietary guidelines. A person with stages one to four of chronic kidney disease should strive to limit protein because of their disease, but within reason and only under the direction of a doctor, a dietician or a nutritionist (Source: National Kidney and Urologic Disease Information Clearinghouse).

For weight loss purposes, calories should come from carbohydrates (50%), proteins (30-35%) and fats (15-20%). The higher level of protein makes the diet more satisfying without deprivation. (Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) The protein need in the body is so great that if we do not get the right amounts, the body will eat more food to make up for it (Source: Massey University, 2009). The more food that is needed, the more calories will be ingested. It is a myth that protein does not turn to fat in the body - if there is too much consumption, the body will store it as such.

Protein comes from two sources, plants and animals. Plant protein, with the exception of soy protein, is incomplete because it lacks one or more of the amino acids that the body needs to have supplied by the diet. Because they are incomplete, vegetarians need to make sure that their diet is balanced and varied so that they do not miss out on any of the essential amino acids. The typical vegan diet gets about 10-12% of its calories from protein, while the average diet is 14-18% protein (Source: Mangels).

Animal protein is complete and comes from sources such as meat, dairy, and eggs. Leaner protein sources should always be selected so that the diet is lower in saturated fats as well as calories. Good animal proteins include tuna and salmon as well as other fatty fish. Turkey is another good protein source, specifically roasted, skinless breast meat. Low-fat dairy products and eggs are also excellent sources of animal protein that can work well in the quest to lose weight and be healthier.

Protein supplements are also important to add to the diet but should be of specific types. Some may be loaded with additional sugar, which can cause too much blood glucose. Profect, from Protica, is a small liquid supplement that supplies 25 grams of protein in only 100 calories with zero fat and zero carbohydrates. In addition, Profect supplies both vitamin C and vitamin B complex.

Be wary of protein bars, especially those with candy like flavors, as they may have enough calories or a high enough sugar content that they are equivalent to candy bars. Diabetics should discuss their supplement options with their doctor for optimal health. There are certain brands, especially of protein shakes, that are specifically designed for diabetics. Protein supplements have the advantage of stabilizing the blood sugar and preventing hunger between meals.


Christine Ammer. The New A to Z of Women's Health Checkmark Books Garden City, New York 2005

Reed Mangels PhD. RD. Protein in the Vegan Diet The Vegetarian Resource Group

Massey University. Science Alert

The Kidneys and How They Work. National Kidney and Urologic Disease Information Clearinghouse

The American Heart Association

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Klaas R. Westerterp. Nutrition and Metabolism: Diet Induced Thermo Genesis Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University.

About the Author
About Protica Research (http://www.protica.com) Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm specializing in the development of dense nutrition in compact forms. Protica manufactures Profect (http://www.profect.com), IsoMetric (http://www.isometric.com), Pediagro (http://www.pediagro.com), Fruitasia (http://www.fruitasia.com) and many other brands in its GMP-certified, 250,000 square foot facility. Copyright - Protica

Labels: diabetes management

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