Reducing Diabetes Risk Through Plant Proteins
Written by Sadi Mosko
Finding the right nutrient balance in a diet can be a difficult task, but with diabetes, it only gets more complicated. Sugar is a well-understood nutrient among the diabetic community, but other nutrients like protein are proving important as well.
Looking specifically at type 2 diabetes (T2D), increasing amounts of evidence suggests that not all proteins are equal. A recent study from the University of Finland found that consuming plant proteins correlates to a reduced risk of contracting T2D compared to animal proteins. Specifically, increasing plant protein consumption by five grams correlates to a 17% reduction in T2D risk.
These results come from a 19-year study that tracked the eating habits and diabetes prevalence of over 2,000 middle-aged, Finnish men. The study compares risk factors between and among plant and animal proteins. The risk associated with different types of meat varies, but red meat seems to have the highest T2B risk - a result that has been backed by other studies.
There is room for further research on this topic as some uncertainties remain. For instance, researchers found that subjects with higher plant protein intakes also tend to exercise more, use drugs and alcohol less, and eat healthier diets. It is possible that these other life decisions led to decreased T2B risk.
Nevertheless, choosing to eat less meat and more plants is a great step towards reducing one’s risk of contracting diabetes and improving one's overall health. As one of the first to analyze the role of specific types of protein in relation T2B, this study is an important starting point to understanding the relationship between diabetes and reducetarianism.
Click here to read the full report published in the British Journal of Nutrition.