One of the two primary proteins present in milk and dairy products is whey protein. Casein is the second primary protein found in dairy products; many people are allergic to casein, while few people appear to be allergic to whey protein. When rennin, a milk curdling protein, is introduced to milk and other dairy products, the curds (casein) and whey separate, much like in the traditional nursery rhyme.
Whey protein is utilized for various reasons, including maintaining daily protein consumption, increasing muscle growth, and fat reduction. Whey isn’t the only protein that helps you lose weight—other proteins do, too—but most proteins aren’t as easily digested as whey.
Are Whey Protein Shakes Safe For Diabetics?
Yes, persons with diabetes may consume whey protein in the appropriate levels as a tasty protein shake, a beverage, or added to meals. Before adding supplements to your diet, it’s usually a good idea to check with your doctor first. I’ve been taking protein powder for over ten years and have never had any problems or adverse affects. Any supplement I take, on the other hand, I take in moderation and always stick to the prescribed doses. I also conduct considerable research on the product and identify any unfamiliar components. Then I look at how it could affect my blood sugar and overall wellness.
I usually drink smoothies on days when I’m doing weight training or if I’m not getting enough protein. For certain weeks, this would amount to roughly 3 shakes each week. To give my body a vacation and push myself to absorb protein and nutrients from nutritious home-cooked meals, I sometimes spend weeks without using protein powder. Protein shakes aren’t required. It’s just a simple way to include protein to your diet and diabetes management plan. If those two things aren’t in order, adding whey protein is a waste of money.
When protein powder and diabetes are addressed together, the subject of renal problems is always brought up. High blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes are the two primary risk factors for kidney disease and failure. A high protein diet has been proven to hasten kidney damage in those who already have renal disease. It’s important to note that this is the total amount of protein consumed, not simply protein powder. On the other hand, higher protein diets have no negative effects on renal function in healthy persons. There have been no reports or findings that show eating whey protein has a detrimental influence on the health of diabetics based on the studies and medical research done.
Insulin, Whey Protein, And Blood Sugar
Whey protein has a variety of characteristics that appear to be beneficial in the treatment of diabetes.
The amino acid L-cysteine is abundant in whey protein. Glutathione, one of the body’s most essential antioxidants, is made from L-cysteine. One of the underlying causes of insulin resistance is oxidative stress, which is considered to be responsible for some of the consequences of diabetes, such as peripheral neuropathy, retinopathy, and kidney damage.
When whey protein is added to a meal, it boosts insulin production and lowers blood sugar levels after that. After meals, whey protein can help diabetics lower their triglyceride levels.
Blood sugar levels were shown to be 28 percent lower in individuals who ate whey protein with their meals in recent research. Insulin levels were raised, and the insulin response was also prolonged. Although the study was tiny, with just 15 people participating, the results were significant due to the study’s methodology.
Whey also offers additional benefits, such as making you feel fuller for longer periods of time, which can aid in weight reduction. Whey protein also contains anti-inflammatory properties, which can benefit overall health. Since inflammation is present in everyone with diabetes, making blood sugar management and weight reduction more difficult. Finally, whey protein appears to promote fat loss in the liver.
Overall, whey protein can be an effective tool for people with diabetes who are attempting to manage their blood sugar levels. The blood sugar levels dropped significantly, although not in all circumstances. What is included in the meal will determine a lot.
However, the reductions in blood sugar are genuine, and when paired with adherence to dietary and activity guidelines, whey protein can help diabetics maintain blood sugar management.
The Effects Of Whey Protein Powder On The Blood Sugar
Most protein powders have a maximum carbohydrate content of 12 grams per serving, which is considered low carb. Other powders, such as bulk gainers, include anything from 30 to 120 grams of carbohydrates per serving. To keep blood sugar levels in check, mass gainer protein powders generally require a lot of insulin.
The more carbs you eat, the more likely you are to have a high blood sugar level. Nitro Tech Whey Gold from Muscle Tech, which has 2 grams of carbohydrates, is the protein shake I’m presently using. 2 to 12 grams of carbohydrates should not significantly raise your blood sugar levels. 12 grams would elevate my blood sugar by about 2 mmol/L in my case.
However, I’ve discovered that certain protein powders cause my blood sugar to rise despite the reduced carb content. I’ve gone from 7 mmol/L to 12 or even 14 mmol/L at times, which is ridiculous. I found that some amino acids in whey protein powder, especially glucogenic amino acids, may be turned into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis after conducting extensive study and speaking with my doctor. If not accounted for, this glucose might raise your blood sugar level.
On the other hand, I’ve tried plant-based protein powders and found that they don’t have the same effect on my blood sugar. This might be owing to the powder’s lack of glucogenic amino acids and high concentrations of ketogenic amino acids.
A ketogenic amino acid is one that can be directly digested into acetyl-CoA, the precursor to ketone bodies. Acetyl-CoA (acetyl coenzyme A) is a biological substance involved in protein, carbohydrate, and lipid metabolism. The glucogenic amino acids, on the other hand, are transformed into glucose. Because both carbon atoms in the ketone body are eventually oxidized to carbon dioxide in the citric acid cycle, ketogenic amino acids cannot be converted to glucose.
I have to dose my protein shakes appropriately, depending on the kind. To determine how a particular protein powder may impact your blood sugar, test your blood sugar before and 30 to 45 minutes after intake. To get an accurate reading, make sure you only combine the powder with water for this test.
What Is The Appropriate Protein Intake For A Diabetic?
Protein should account for 10% to 35% of your daily calories as long as your kidneys are in good shape. This is the same quantity that is recommended for a non-diabetic diet. Carbohydrates should account for 45 to 65 percent of your calorie intake, with fat accounting for the remainder.
To convert pounds to kilograms, multiply your weight in pounds by 2.2. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you are 68 kilos. Multiply it by 0.8 to achieve a 54-gram protein target.
According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines, 5 1/2 ounces of protein-rich meals should be consumed each day.
1. Meat, fish, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds are all abundant in protein.
Consider the following scenario:
- The protein content of a half chicken breast is 29 grams.
- Black beans include 15 grams of protein per cup.
- A single egg has 6 grams of protein.
- 8 grams of protein per cup of low-fat milk
- A 3-ounce steak has 26 grams of protein.
Benefits Of Whey For Diabetics
But, first and foremost, are there any specific reasons why diabetics should consume whey protein?
It’s worth noting that the two most frequent reasons individuals use whey – greater muscle mass and lower body fat – can both assist with Type II Diabetes symptoms.
In fact, according to a 2013 study published in the journal Diabetes Care, body composition is the most important determinant in determining the risk of acquiring the disease. This is mostly due to the fact that Type II Diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance, which means your body no longer responds to the hormone’s messages.
Sugar is not absorbed by your cells as a result, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels. Muscle, on the other hand, is extremely insulin-sensitive and always hungry for glucose. As a result, it stands to reason that the more muscle mass you have, the more insulin sensitive you will be. And, as previously said, whey protein gives your body everything it needs to make those beneficial body composition adjustments.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, despite the fact that numerous supplements are promoted for diabetes, there is insufficient evidence to recommend any supplement to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes or assist individuals in managing diabetes. Some supplements can interact with diabetic medications and raise the risk of kidney damage. You might wish to put a stop to your whey protein drink for a while.
Consult your doctor or a diabetic dietician before using a diabetes supplement like whey. “We can create customized whole-food smoothie preparations that may be produced ahead of time or prepped ahead of time for easy processing. A vegetable-based smoothie with additional protein and a fruit or sweetener with a low glycemic index is an example. This manner, convenience, and preference are combined, “According to Ashby Cornthwaite.