Eat protein serving first to prevent diabetes

Do you know that the number of individuals acquiring diabetes, particular Type 2 diabetes or adult onset diabetes is increasing? What makes this news more alarming is the fact that diabetes nowadays is not only hitting adults. There are even some reports suggesting that young people and

children are acquiring diabetes. Around sixteen million individuals in the country are suffering from diabetes according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Much has been said about the link between a high carb diet and diabetes but very little is documented about the connection between protein and diabetes. In fact, the role of protein in the diet of people at risk or suffering from diabetes has been marred in controversy. According to old studies, most of the protein consumed was converted to glucose in the liver and raises blood glucose level as it entered the bloodstream.

Like carbohydrate, protein is also converted into glucose by a process called gluconeogenesis. And also similarly, the speed of this process depends on the amount of insulin secreted by the pancreas and the blood glucose control. 

According to the same studies, diabetic individuals convert protein to glucose very rapidly which can lead to a very negative effect on blood glucose level. In healthy, normal individuals, the intake of protein can stimulate insulin release as much as carbohydrates can. This has led experts to believe that eating protein does not help avoid hypoglycemia.

However, new studies have shown that while an estimated 50% to 60% of protein consumed is converted to glucose, it does not enter the bloodstream and thus does not raise the rate of glucose discharge by the liver. Nobody has yet to discover where the glucose goes. One theory speculates that it is probably stored in the liver or muscles as glycogen. But experts agree that it is least likely to affect blood glucose levels. 

Now it is recommended that people with or at risk of acquiring diabetes include more protein in their diets. The suggested amount of protein is 15 to 20 percent of the daily calorie intake. The protein however should be distributed throughout all the meals. In eating animal protein, one should make sure to choose only the lean parts and combine them with non-animal protein like those found in vegetables. 

The amount of protein intake must not increase above 20 percent of calories though, as this may lead to the development of kidney disease.  People with kidney problems should reduce the amount of protein intake to slow down or halt the progression of the disease.

One way to include more protein in your diet to help prevent diabetes is to have protein servings first during mealtime then have carbohydrate rich foods served second.

An advantage of having protein serving first during mealtime is that it can reduce the amount of carbohydrate intake of your body. The logic here is that you would already feel full after the serving of protein so you would have less inclination to consume carbohydrates. 

Individuals who have diabetes or who are at risk of getting the disease do not have the ability to process carbohydrates particularly sugars properly. This is why a diet high in carbohydrates has always been linked to an increased risk of diabetes. Individuals suffering from diabetes and those who believe they are at a moderate or high risk of getting the disease must carefully follow a diet regimen that is low in carbohydrates. This is to ensure that their sugar levels would not be affected by an increased intake of carbs.

One simple fact that people should remember about carbohydrates is that they all break down into simple sugars. Whether you are eating complex carbohydrates like brown rice or whole wheat bread or you are consuming simple sugars like candies and white sugar, they would all end up as simple sugars inside your body.

Complex and simple carbohydrates differ only in the rate at which they are converted to basic sugars. Carbohydrates are converted to simple sugars from five minutes to 3 hours after consumption. Complex carbohydrate breaks down slower than simple sugars. This means that the impact of simple sugars and complex carbohydrates in the blood sugar level of individuals differs.

Individuals must therefore take note of their daily carbohydrate consumption in order to prevent diabetes. This is a very important thing to do if you really do not want to raise your blood sugar level. A good and effective way to achieve this is to eat a protein serving first during mealtimes.