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Is Whey Protein Safe For Diabetics? Yes, No; Maybe So! Here’s Why

Is Whey Protein Safe For Diabetes? Yes, but theirs caveats.

We all need proteins. Proteins are essential for normal cell functioning. Basically, proteins help maintain, rebuild and repair muscles. Besides playing the critical role in the cell process, protein has also been found to benefit individuals with diabetes. Whey protein, like our GNC review, for example, is a healthy option in controlling diabetes as protein digests slowly than carbs minimizing chances of a sugar spike.

  • Whey along with casein is one of the two main proteins found in milk. Proteins are known to stimulate the production of glucagon-like peptide 1, a hormone that initiates production of insulin.

Most packaged whey protein shakes have a higher content of sugar that will instantly increase blood sugar in a diabetic individual. For this reason, it is vital always to check the ingredient label to find out the products that do not contain added sugar. You can make the drink sweeter by adding your natural flavors.

How to use whey protein when you are diabetic

Research has shown that consuming whey protein shortly before a high glycaemic index meal increases the early and late post-meal insulin secretion. Individuals with diabetes are advised to have their whey shake some minutes before their main meal, to keep their glucose levels under control afterward.

The preferred amount of whey protein is 0.35g for every pound of body weight. However, it is essential to let your doctor recommend you the amount of whey protein to consume per day.

Whey is bitter; you can add spices and flavors such as cinnamon and vanilla. Also, you only have to make sure that you are not adding calories into the shakes in the name of flavor. You can have a whey smoothie over breakfast cereals or any time of the day that you prefer.

Why whey protein?

Research has shown that whey protein contains several nutrients that are highly useful when it comes to controlling diabetes. Whey has an amino acid called L-cysteine that synthesizes glutathione. Glutathione is one of the body’s free radical that is responsible for insulin resistance and diabetes complication.

  • A whey shake a day helps one reduce chances of suffering from peripheral neuropathy or kidney disease; the most common diabetes complications

Whey protein highly increases insulin secretion thus decreasing blood sugar after a meal. Research has shown that whey protein also helps build muscles and reduce body mass to help one control their overall weight effortlessly.

  • Protein takes longer to digest than fats and carbohydrates, because of this you will feel full for longer. A high amount of protein with slow intake will not affect kidneys as much.
  • One of the other properties of whey is that it contains anti-inflammatory properties. Infections make controlling sugar a difficult task.

Patients most likely to benefit from postprandial glucose lowering by whey protein are those with mild to moderate elevation of HbA1c, who have relatively well controlled fasting glucose, since this is the group of patients in whom postprandial glycaemia makes the greatest relative contribution to HbA1c. However, combining a dietary strategy with pharmacological agents in less well-controlled patients should also be evaluated, such as the combination of insulin to control fasting glucose, together with whey protein to reduce postprandial glycaemia; such a concept has proven to be effective with the combination of basal insulin and short-acting GLP-1 receptor agonists[].


Factors affecting blood sugar

Diabetes can be unpredictable. It is normal to have fluctuations with your blood sugars regardless of eating the same foods and following your normal routine as advised by your doctor. We understand that it can be so frustrating that sometimes you might not understand why your blood sugars are what they are.

People with diabetes can control what they eat and the amount in that matter; taking their medication and the level of activities they engage in. We are shading light on some factors affecting blood sugar even after playing per its rules and regulations.

Causes of a rise in blood sugar

  • What you eat or drink; basically the number of carbohydrates and beverages.
  • Being physically inactive
  • Diabetes medications when: not taken enough, a dosage is missed, improper dosage.
  • Mental and physical stress
  • Infections
  • Menopause or menstrual periods alter the hormonal functioning
  • Medications such as steroids
  • Not getting adequate sleep

High blood sugar damages the blood vessels in the body and leads to increased risk for blindness, loss of sensation and heart diseases such as stroke.

Causes of low blood sugar

  • Not eating enough carbohydrates as recommended
  • Taking diabetes medication without eating any food
  • Too much diabetes medication
  • Increased physical activities
  • Alcohol
  • Side effects of some medicines

It is essential to focus on what potentially causes your blood sugar to be out of range rather than feeling some sort of guilty. Tracking blood sugar levels is vital; this gives a better understanding of the trends to help you make proper decisions about your diet and physical activities to engage in.

The causes of rising and fall in blood sugar may affect each person differently because each person body is unique in functioning. Seek advice from your doctor when you notice that the blood sugar levels are persistently out of range.

So, is whey protein safe for diabetics?

Generally, whey protein supplements can be beneficial when it comes to controlling blood sugar. Even though, remember that the decrease in blood sugar may not occur in all circumstances. It will also depend on what other meals one is has. Whey protein can help diabetic individuals control their sugar levels when combined with dietary guidelines.

Is Whey Protein Safe For Diabetes? Yes, No; Maybe So! Here's Why.
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Is Whey Protein Safe For Diabetes? Yes, No; Maybe So! Here's Why.
Is Whey Protein Safe For Diabetes? Play it safe, check our of research and overview of precautions you must take before slurping down that shake!
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Brice Mansa - ISSA Certified Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach

Brice Mansa is a certified personal trainer from the ISSA. He took his knowledge from college to provide a more broad education method (blogging) to enhance the lives of thousands of people. Tired of being limited as a personal trainer in a gym with a single client, he stepped up his game. ASCVS.org is proud to host him and the team of 4 other certified personal trainers and kinesiologists. When Brice isn't training or writing he likes long walks on the beach, puppos & motorcycles. We hope you enjoy his content, tips & stories!