Could Whey Protein Help to Manage Type 2 Diabetes?

Could Whey Protein Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Everyone’s favorite pre- and post-workout recovery food seems to have some secret benefits--good news if you've been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

There’s an obesity epidemic in the country right now. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese, and with obesity comes numerous risks for diet-related illnesses such as type 2 diabetes. The CDC also estimates that more than 29 million Americans—about 9 percent of the population—suffer from type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when too much sugar (in any form) is in the diet on a regular basis—which is also a hallmark behavior connected to obesity. The more processed, sugary foods we eat, the more likely we are to become obese and increase our risk for type 2 diabetes, a chronic illness that impairs insulin function in the blood to control blood sugar levels.

Whey protein, which is prized for being a muscle building and weight loss aiding superfood, may help in moderating blood sugar levels, too. That’s the findings of several studies looking at the impact of protein-rich foods on insulin levels.

Compared to other lean proteins like fish or eggs, whey protein showed the most notable benefits. Authority Nutrition says it may even be comparable to diabetic drugs like sulfonylurea (although you should never stop taking a prescription drug for diabetes unless advised by your primary care physician).

While whey protein may be beneficial for individuals already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, its blood sugar moderating abilities may be even more effective as a defense against getting the disease in the first place.

Consuming whey before or with an excessive amount of carbohydrates and sugars may help to slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream, keeping insulin effective at doing its job, and reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

Okko Pyykkö

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