Diabetes is known to cause several other comorbidities in the long run. It is particularly detrimental for elderly people and therefore, it is important for all the diabetics to have a healthy diet. Doctors and dieticians usually prescribe a diet low in fats and carbohydrates while being relatively high in protein for such people. But it is a little known fact that plant protein benefits diabetic people much more than animal protein.
What is Plant Protein?
As the name suggests, plant protein is the umbrella term for all types of proteins that can be obtained from consuming a plant-based (vegan) diet. Just like animal protein available in sources like red meat, white meat, fish, seafood, eggs, and some milk-based products (cottage cheese), plant proteins are also quite diverse in their sources. Plant proteins that are beneficial for diabetic people are available in sources like tofu, tempeh, soy, seitan, pulses, nuts, seeds, peas, and even some types of grains.
Benefits of Plant Based Protein for Diabetics
Plant-based proteins are a lesser-explored source of protein for many. Since plant protein diets help with weight loss goals, they are perfect for people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Apart from this, here are three major reasons why diabetic people should trust plant proteins more than animal-based proteins to keep them healthy in the long run.
1. Improves Glycemic Control
Type 2 diabetes results in the body not being able to effectively regulate and utilize the sugars it consumes, leading to higher levels of glucose in the blood (hyperglycemia). Research has confirmed through randomized controlled trials that plant protein benefits diabetic people by helping their bodies regulate the glycemic level. This helps in reducing the adverse effects of type 2 diabetes to some extent. So, if you are suffering from type 2 diabetes, then you should definitely consider adding some plant-based, protein-rich food items to your regular diet.
2. Prevents Type 2 Diabetes
A recent study, conducted by the researchers at the University of Eastern Finland, has confirmed that plant protein is more effective than animal protein in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes. In fact, this research also found that people who consumed animal protein were at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. One of the best food items you can include in your diet to prevent the onset of diabetes is pea. Notably, pea protein benefits the body by slowing down digestion. This allows the blood sugar levels to even out, leading to full utilization of the insulin produced by your body.
3. Reduces Insulin Resistance
The root cause of type 2 diabetes is the resistance of the body to insulin. This means that the insulin produced by the pancreas of diabetic people does not get utilized by the body. As a result, glucose consumed by such people is not absorbed by body cells and continues to flow in their bloodstream, causing a state of hyperglycemia which could further lead to dreadful complications. Plant protein benefits diabetic people because it is rich in fibre and low in saturated fats. This characteristic of plant-based proteins helps to reduce the body’s resistance to insulin.
The Bottom Line
Since plant-based sources of protein have such a multitude of health benefits, diabetics should begin to rely on them more for their daily protein requirements. However, if sources of plant-based proteins are not readily accessible to you, then you can always consider adding a healthy dose of plant protein powder to your diet. Plant protein powder benefits the body in the same way that protein-rich, plant-based foods do.