Proteins are the natural choice when a patient is faced with diabetes. If diabetes is uncontrolled, muscle protein is broken down into amino acids and converted into glucose by the liver. Proteins have to supply enough energy to substitute for carbohydrates and proteins are broken down faster than they are made. If this happens the body ends up with a protein deficit which affects normal body functions.
A protein deficit has been shown to impair resistance to infections in diabetics.
Nutrition therapy for diabetes has progressed from prevention of obesity or weight gain to improving the effectiveness of insulin. With this new approach, a high protein diet (30% of total food energy) is a very pertinent part of nutrition therapy.
It is speculated that a high protein diet has a favorable effect in diabetes due to the ability of proteins and amino acids to stimulate insulin release from the pancreas.
As well, dietary supplements containing proteins like whey and casein come highly recommended. A protein supplement containing casein can increase the amount of energy manufactured from every meal and, at the same time, reduce the need for pharmacological insulin.
Ask your health care professional about your dietary protein needs if you have diabetes.