Why diabetics need protein in their diet

Do proteins have a role in diabetes diets? Predictably, when we talk about diabetes and meal planning, we focus mostly on carbohydrates (carbs). Diabetes is also called diabetes in common language. The link between sugar and diabetes is strong and ingrained in our minds. Not just diabetics, every health conscious person talks about reducing carbohydrates in the diet. In all this craziness, we often miss the importance of proteins.

There are three “macro” nutrients in our diet – carbohydrates, protein and fats. Proteins are the building blocks of our body and are vital for the growth and development of muscles and bones. They are also important components of hormones and many enzymes at the cellular level and are important for building immunity. About half of the proteins in our bodies are in our muscles. Proteins are also broken down by the body into glucose and used for energy, a process known as gluconeogenesis.

India is a carbohydrate-loving country. In general, our protein intakes are considered suboptimal. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the recommended daily intake of protein for adults is 0.8 to 1 gram per kilogram of body weight. This means that for an Indian with an average weight of 70 kg, around 56-70 grams of protein should be consumed per day. Most Indians are well below this figure, often not reaching 50 grams per day. This has an effect on our muscle mass. Studies have shown that Indians of all ages have lower muscle mass (“sarcopenia”) compared to populations with better protein intake.

There are many prevalent myths about protein consumption such as “diabetics should not consume too much protein”, “high protein diets may harm your kidneys”, “protein is difficult to digest”, “leads to weight gain” and it is “only for” body builders. . Some of these legends come from the Western world where protein intake is much higher than that of the Indians. Excess protein intake can be a concern in some of these countries, while for Indians, meeting normal protein requirements is a struggle.

How does protein intake affect diabetes?

1. When you eat carbohydrates with protein (or fat), your body may take longer to convert carbohydrates into glucose, which results in lower blood sugar levels after a meal in people with type 2 diabetes.
2. Although 1 gram of protein provides four calories, like carbohydrates, it reduces calorie intake by providing satiety, which also helps in controlling blood sugar.
3. A low-protein diet leads to muscle loss which increases the risk of falls and fractures in elderly diabetics. These individuals can in any case be more likely to fall due to nerve, muscle, and eye injury from long-term diabetes.
4. Decreased muscle mass contributes to insulin resistance. Therefore, it is not only the fatty tissue but the lack of muscle mass that also contributes to insulin resistance and a long list of consequences.
5. Recent data suggest that reduced muscle mass — and decreased protein intake by inference — promotes the development of fatty liver disease, which can lead to cirrhosis and even cancer.

How should we treat the protein problem if we have diabetes?

We should aim to get 15-20 percent of our calories through protein on a daily basis, and ensure a minimum of 0.8g/kg of body weight protein. This should ideally be greater than 1 g/kg for diabetic patients, unless they have a kidney injury. Even for those with kidney complications, it is recommended to take 0.8 g – 1 g / kg!

Our requirements also depend on our level of exercise, so larger amounts of 1-1.5 g/kg are recommended for some. Athletes often have to consume much higher amounts.

Try to get protein at every meal for maximum benefit. Eating one protein-rich meal with other protein-free meals is not the best way to manage health.

All proteins are not the same. Its quality is also important. Animal source proteins are generally superior to plant proteins, although there have been many attempts to enhance the latter in recent times. Amino acids are the units that make up protein. Some cannot be made in the human body and must be eaten through the diet. These are called essential amino acids.

The best sources of proteins are dairy products like milk, yoghurt and paneer as well as eggs, meat, fish and poultry because they contain all the essential amino acids.

Plant sources of protein include lentils, beans, and nuts. Soybeans are an exceptional source. If you are a vegetarian, consume dairy and dairy products. If you like the taste, add soybeans. If you are a vegetarian, please have a nutritionist calculate your protein intake and make sure you don’t fall short! A mixture of grains, millet and legumes provides the most amino acids, which complement each other to provide better quality proteins.

A variety of proteins always helps. One good principle is that every time you eat a meal, look for the protein on the plate. Make sure you have protein in every main meal you eat.

To give you an idea of ​​common foods to eat, take a look at this list:

100 grams chicken = 30 grams
100 grams of fish = 22 grams
100g cooked green soybeans = 12g
1 large egg = 6-7 grams
1 cup of milk (200 ml) = 7 g
1 katori of dal or beans = 5-6 g
1 dahi catorie = 4 grams

Leave a Comment