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Protein and Blood Sugar Control

Help for blood sugar control.

Whey protein for blood sugar control

Here’s a simple way to help some people get their blood sugar under control: Gulp back some liquid protein before feasting.

A study in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care found that individuals with type 2 diabetes who drank a small amount of whey protein (15 grams of total protein) 10 minutes before meals spent more time with normal blood glucose levels, and generally had lower daily blood glucose levels, than those who didn’t drink whey protein. This was determined using a continuous glucose monitoring device. The participants were monitored for two 1-week periods as they went about normal daily life consuming their typical meals—once consuming pre-meal whey and once drinking a control shot that contain no protein.

The study authors surmise that whey protein works in two ways:  First, by slowing down how quickly food passes through the digestive system and, secondly, by stimulating certain hormones that keep blood sugar from climbing so high.

See also: Hunger and Blood Sugar Linked

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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