What foods can reverse diabetes
Type 2 diabetes: protein lowers blood sugar
Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common widespread diseases: It is considered an affluence disease - over 90 percent of all diabetics suffer from this form. Especially people who are significantly overweight and who have a family background are affected. The trigger is often an unbalanced diet with large amounts of carbohydrate-containing foods and beverages. Combined with a lack of exercise, insulin resistance, i.e. insensitivity to the hormone insulin, can arise. The result is increased blood sugar levels. According to a study, a protein-rich diet can have a positive effect on long-term blood sugar levels in diabetics.
What happens in the body with diabetes?
After every meal, more and more sugar molecules swim in the blood - blood sugar. The pancreas produces insulin so that it can get into the cells. This smuggles the sugar into the cells. So the sugar level in the blood drops again. If you supply your body with many servings of easily usable carbohydrates, you keep the pancreas in constant operation. Insulin-resistant people have more insulin in their blood than healthy people, but the body can no longer accommodate the excess supply of sugar in the tissue.
Insulin is a vital hormone made in the pancreas. It mediates the absorption of the energy supplier glucose (sugar) from the blood into the body cells and thereby lowers the blood sugar level. When the cells become less sensitive to insulin (resistant), the metabolism needs more and more insulin. Research today assumes that insulin resistance can be inherited. Despite hereditary predisposition, diabetes only develops if an inactive lifestyle and an unsuitable diet are added.
The result: obesity and fatty liver
The constantly increasing insulin level has an impact elsewhere: the body stores more fat - this leads to obesity. Fatty liver is also a common precursor or comorbidance of diabetes. Dangerous deposits form in the vessels. If there is also a lack of exercise, i.e. hardly any blood sugar is used as energy by the muscles, then the insulin resistance can advance particularly quickly.
Study: Protein lowers long-term blood sugar levels
If you change your lifestyle in good time, you can avoid large amounts of drugs such as metformin and even reverse insulin resistance. About half of all type 2 diabetics could reduce their disease through targeted exercise and a conscious diet.
The study "Legumes - Cultivation and Use" (LeguAN), which was commissioned by the German Institute for Nutritional Research in Potsdam, shows that long-term blood sugar levels in diabetics decrease with a protein-rich diet. This works just as well with vegetable protein as with animal protein.
What does a protein-rich diet do?
The high content of protein in the food increases the time it stays in the stomach. The result: the so-called glycemic index, which indicates the increase in blood sugar in the blood, falls. Legumes - such as peas, contain a lot of vegetable protein. That is why researchers are developing products such as pasta, bread, biscuits and flour made from pea proteins. But dairy products also contain milk proteins that have positive effects on blood sugar levels. Meat is also a source of protein. But it also contains purines and cholesterol, which in large quantities have a negative effect on the metabolism. Therefore, according to the current state of the art, researchers recommend increasing the consumption of high-protein plants.
Experts on the subject
Prof. Dr. Andreas Pfeiffer
DIfE - German Institute for Nutritional Research
Arthur-Scheunert-Allee 114-116, 14558 Nuthetal
Prof. Sascha Rohn
Deputy Head of the Institute for Food Chemistry
University of Hamburg
Hamburg School of Food Science
Grindelallee 117, 20146 Hamburg
(040) 428 38 79 79
LeguAN study (PDF)
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