Diabetic High Protein Diet is the low carbohydrate, high protein diet advised to Diabetics in order to help them achieve more precise control on their blood glucose levels while assisting them with their weight maintenance goals. As a Diabetic, an individual is exposed to high blood glucose levels and if this is not brought under control, one becomes susceptible to developing specific organ damage. The eyes, kidneys and nervous system are three vital systems that are first affected by uncontrolled blood glucose resulting in following conditions - Diabetic Retinopathy, Diabetic Nephropathy and Diabetic Neuropathy.
Laws governing Diabetic High Protein Diet
- The choice of foods that provide high quality protein is to be made very carefully as most high protein foods also contain considerable fat levels.
- It must be borne in mind that 50-60 % of protein intake is converted into glucose by the process of gluconeogenesis, however much of this does not enter blood circulation.
- Bedtime snacks, if consumed, must contain protein. Protein conversion to glucose is slower than that of carbohydrate and this ensures that blood glucose levels do not drop too low in the course of the night.
- In situations when Diabetics experience hypoglycemic shock, owing to sharp fall in blood sugar levels, the best solution is to provide a simple carbohydrate first, followed by a protein source to avoid blood sugars from dropping once again.
- An increased insulin response when carbohydrate and protein are consumed as a combination is perhaps the reason for the slower glucose release.
Benefits of Diabetic High Protein Diet
- Proteins in the diet provide a feeling of satiety i.e. a feeling of fullness that keeps Diabetics from unhealthy snacking and overeating.
- As such a high protein, low carbohydrate diet aids in the weight loss process.
- As some studies indicate, Insulin requirements may be lowered.
- High carbohydrate intake raises blood glucose whereas high protein intake helps in establishing better glycemic control.
- Although certain scientific studies have shown how a high protein diet reduces the postprandial blood glucose in type 2 Diabetics and improves overall glucose levels, long term studies are needed to further understand the magnitude of this response, acceptability of such diets as well as any possible adverse impacts.
- Studies also reveal that when there is a restriction on energy intake (in terms of carbohydrate consumption); a higher protein uptake becomes necessary for maintenance of lean body tissues while concurrently mobilizing existing fat stores.
- Intake of protein in combination with carbohydrate may have a synergistic effect on the insulin level, thereby exhibiting an upgraded post-prandial carbohydrate response.
Important Considerations related to Diabetic High Protein Diet
- Initial impact of such a diet is quite dramatic, as it results in weight loss as well as improved blood glucose.
- Long-term effects of high protein diet need to be further studied
- The ease of adhering to this diet, sustained progressive weight loss and effect on other health aspects needs to be further researched.
- Excessive protein intake may have renal implications especially in complicated Diabetics.
Such a diet can be followed for better control of blood glucose levels which may also have a positive impact on the glycosylated haemoglobin level that measures blood glucose control over past three months. To maintain these parameters within permissible limits is the final goal in the prevention of diabetic complications.