It is incredibly important for diabetics to make sure that they maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet, which can actually be a large part of diabetes treatment, as well as many other health conditions, such as cancer, hypertension and heart disease.
There are different types of diabetes, and the dietary needs are different for each. For instance, those who have type II diabetes have extremely high blood glucose, which often fluctuate, and they must be regulated. This can be done with insulin shots, but in some cases, a very well-planned healthy diet may be all the patient needs to keep their sugars regulated. According to the American Diabetes Association, as well as the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society, a healthy diet should be made up of 35% protein, 50% carbohydrates (not the3 simple ones that digest quickly) and 15% fats.
Now, in the case of some diabetics, they may need to have an even higher intake of protein, sometimes up to 30 or 40% of the daily caloric intake. But, when a diabetic, or anyone else, is on a diet that is high in protein, it is essential to make sure that they are eating the right types of high protein foods, to ensure that there is no weight gain, which may actually defeat the purpose of eating healthy to treat diabetes. Some of the best high protein foods to eat include lean meats, oily fish, turkey or chicken breast, soy beans, nuts, milk and milk products, and whole grains, just to name a few (be careful with red meat, as it can lower insulin resistance). So as you can see, this type of diet neither needs to be tasteless or boring. High protein diets have been proven to be helpful in the treatment of diabetes, and the September 2004 Diabetes magazine reported that not only can high-protein, low-carb diets help to regulate blood sugar levels, they can even help to lower the levels.
The Right Proteins for Diabetic Diets
Many people think that being diagnosed with diabetes means having a boring, bland diet for the rest of their lives. This is absolutely untrue. Although it is essential to monitor everything you eat when you have type II diabetes, there are still many delicious foods that can be included in your diet. And, it is important to have snacks between meals, contrary to popular belief. Some great snacks for diabetics that are really tasty include unsalted nuts, such as peanuts and almonds. Beans are great, so enjoy any type of beans, because they are absolutely loaded with protein. One thing you do need to avoid is processed foods, because often, they are loaded with salt, and have saturated and trans-fats, which are not good for anyone, let alone diabetics. Foods that you should be eating to get the right amount of protein, and other nutrients, in your diet include milk and milk products, eggs, whole grains, peas, and all kinds of other delicious foods. If you are unsure which foods are best for you to eat on a diabetic diet, check with your physician, nutritionist or dietitian.
Diabetics and Protein Supplements
In order to get the protein they need in their diets, many diabetics opt to use protein supplements, which can not only be used as delicious snacks, but also as actual meal replacements (although this is not usually advised as a regular thing). Protein supplements are a great way to get an added boost of energy during the day. Now, a lot of diabetics fear that using protein supplements will make them gain weight, but, there are all kinds of diet-friendly protein supplements out there that taste really great, and are also loaded with other important vitamins and nutrients. With these supplements, you get the protein, without all of the fat, calories and carbohydrates.
Popular Types of Protein Supplements
There are a number of different types of protein supplements you may be interested in giving a try. All of these supplements are easy to use, and they are also portable, so you can take them with you anywhere. Some of the most popular types of protein supplements include liquid protein supplements, protein powders and liquid protein shots.
Liquid Protein Supplements – There are liquid proteins that are already pre-mixed, and can be drunk immediately. Or, you may want to get another type of liquid supplement that you mix into drinks yourself. This way, you can be sure that you are going to get the flavors you love.
Protein Powders – If you are looking for a protein supplement that is incredibly versatile, powders are for you. There are unflavored protein powders, which can be added to any of your favorite recipes to give them an extra protein boost. And, there are flavored protein powders, which can be used to make delicious shakes and smoothies. Some of the flavors you will find include chocolate, vanilla, berry and fruit punch.
Liquid Protein Shots – This is a great way to get your protein on the go. Liquid protein shots are becoming more and more popular
Types of Proteins Used in Supplements
There are a number of sources for protein supplements. Some of these sources include:
Whey – This is one of the more popular proteins used in supplements, because it digests quickly, and easily. Whey is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all of the essential and non-essential amino acids. Because it is a milk derivative, whey may not be the best type of protein supplement for those who are lactose intolerant, or who are allergic to milk and milk products.
Casein – Here is another milk derivative, and actually, casein is what whey comes from in the first place. Casein digests slower than whey, and many people combine whey and casein to get the full benefits of both types of proteins. Casein can be used by some people who are lactose intolerant.
Soy – Soy is another complete protein, and it is ideal for vegetarians, since it is vegetable-based. It is also great for those who are lactose intolerant.
Rice – This is another complete protein, and, it is ideal for everyone, because it is hypoallergenic and vegetable-based. It has very little flavor, so it is very popular for use in recipes.
Egg – This is one of the first types of protein supplements, and is still often used. If you are allergic to eggs or poultry, you should stick with one of the other types of protein supplements.