Diet Low in Animal Protein Improves Blood Glucose in Type 2 Diabetics
Here’s another one of those “how much did we spend on THIS study” studies. Almost any condition known to man will improve with a more plant-based diet, and diabetes is no exception. Westernized societies are typically “meat and potatoes” cultures, with very little veggies on the dinner plate compared to animal products. Other cultures generally accepted as healthier are more plant and grain based, with rice and/or beans as the central portion of the meal. Also note in this study that sugars were removed from the diet–of course this would lower insulin and glucose levels.
83rd annual meeting of the Endocrine Society The researchers studied 51 patients with type 2 diabetes who had not benefited from large doses of oral hypoglycemics and/or insulin. They were assigned to reduce their dietary animal protein intake from 2 to 3 times a day to once every other day for 6 months, replacing it with equal amounts of vegetable protein. Sugars were eliminated, but caloric content remained the same to prevent weight loss. Among the 31 patients who stayed on the diet, the HbA1c value was decreased by a significant 30%, from an average of about 10 to about 7. Other significant improvements were that total cholesterol decreased by 32%, triglycerides by 60%, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 35%, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol increased by 10%. “Patients liked the new diet and the fact that they did not have to fast, adhere to low-calorie diets or take appetite suppressants,” the researchers commented in a meeting abstract. They noted that of the 20 patients who did not follow the diet, 6 followed a low-calorie diet and lost weight, and 14 switched from red meat to fish and poultry, but their metabolic profile did not improve. Three of the patients who did follow the prescribed diet reduced their insulin dose by 50%, two patients discontinued insulin, four patients stopped taking oral hypoglycemics and six discontinued one or two of their hypolipemics. “We were not really surprised by these findings,” says Dr. Arsenis. “We know that animal protein contains essential amino acids which stimulate pancreatic insulin secretion.” The increased insulin increases adrenaline levels, which is thought to induce insulin resistance, he explained. Dr. Arsenis suggested that this type of diet might even help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.