Diets That Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

23 Apr

Diet rich in plant protein may prevent type 2 diabetes:

Eating a diet with a higher amount of plant protein may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to researchers from the University of Eastern Finland. While plant protein may provide a protective role, meat protein was shown to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

[plant proteins on dishes and spoons]


More than 29 million people in the United States are affected by diabetes, with type 2 diabetes accounting for between 90 & 95% of all cases. An essential part of managing diabetes is partaking in regular physical activity, taking medications to lower blood glucose levels, and following a healthful eating plan.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, healthy eating consists of consuming a variety of products from all food groups, with nonstarchy vegetables taking up half of the plate, grains, or another starch on 1/4 of the plate, and meat or other protein comprising the final fourth.

It is recommended that fatty or processed meat should be avoided and lean meat, such as skinless chicken, should be opted for as an alternative.

Mean consumption has frequently been explored as a variable associated with diabetes, and the previous research has found a link between a high overall intake of protein and animal protein, and a greater risk of type 2 diabetes. Eating plenty of processed red meat, in particular, has been connected with the condition.

The new research – published in the British Journal of Nutrition – adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that the source of dietary protein may be important in altering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The researchers set out to investigate the links between different dietary protein sources and type diabetes risk. They used data from Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD), which was carried out by the University of Eastern Finland.

When the KIHD study began in the years between 1984 and 1989, the diets of 2332 men aged 42 and 60 years old were assessed. None of the individuals had type 2 diabetes at the onset of the study. Over the course of the 19-year follow-up, 432 men were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

High plant protein intake decreased type 2 diabetes risk by 35%

Jyrki Virtanen, a certified clinical nutritionist and an adjunct professor of nutritional epidemiology at the University of Eastern Finland, and colleagues discovered that a diet high in meat was associated with an increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes. The association was seen across all types of mean in general, including processed and unprocessed red meat, white meat, and variety meats.

the researchers say that the association may be a result of compounds found in meat other than protein since meat protein alone was not connected with the risk of diabetes.

Male study participants who had the highest intake of plant protein were 35% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than men with the lowest protein plant intake. Furthermore, using a computer model, Virtanen and team estimate that replacing around 5 grams of animal protein with plant protein per day would diminish diabetes risk by 18%. 

The link between plant protein and reduced diabetes risk may be explained by the effect of plant protein in the diet on blood glucose levels. Those people who consumed more plant protein had lower blood glucose levels at the start of the study.

The primary sources of plant protein are the study were grain products, with additional sources including potatoes, and other such vegetables.

A diet preferred plant protein to meat protein may help prevent type 2 diabetes. The authors conclude that:

“Replacing 1% of energy from animal protein with energy from plant protein was associated with [an] 18% decrease of type 2 diabetes. This association remained after adjusting for BMI. In conclusion, favoring plant and egg proteins appears to be beneficial in preventing type 2 diabetes.”

Overall protein, dairy protein, and fish protein were not connected to the risk of type 2 diabetes. The team also reveals that confirming the group’s earlier studies, a higher intake of egg protein was identified as able to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

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