Diet High in Plant Protein Benefits Kidneys, Diabetics New Study Shows


November is National Diabetes Month, but we’re going to start the ball rolling early with research presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. In the past, there have been conflicting findings as to whether or not a high-protein diet was beneficial for diabetics. Researchers in Germany set about to make sense of these studies. They presented their results in September.

Less than forty people with diabetes around the age of sixty-five participated in the study. Scientists had one group of participants consume a high-protein diet—defined as 30% protein, 40% carbohydrates, 30% fat–with their protein coming from animal sources and a second group consume a similar portioned diet but with their protein coming from plant sources. Both groups maintained their eating regimens for six weeks.

The Findings:

  • Liver enzyme tests improved in both groups
  • Reduction in liver fat in both groups
  • Reduction in glycated haemoglobin (A1c) or HbA1c in both groups.
  • Insulin sensitivity improved in animal protein group
  • Significant reduction of plasma creatinine in plant protein group (better kidney functioning)
  • Improvement in general kidney functioning in plant protein group.
  • More research on a larger group of subjects needed

From Medical Xpress: 

The authors conclude: “In diabetic subjects, the 6-week high-protein diet leads to an improvement in glucose metabolism and decrease in liver fat independently from the protein source. The high-protein diet has no adverse effects on kidney parameters, moreover the kidney function actually improved in the plant protein group.”

This isn’t the first study to link plant-based protein to a moderate reduction in diabetes. A much larger study found that diets that supplemented plant-based protein in place of meat sources reduced the likelihood of diabetes.

From Harvard: 

…a 20-year study that looked at the relationship between low-carbohydrate diets and type 2 diabetes in women. Low-carbohydrate diets that were high in vegetable sources of fat and protein modestly reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes. But low-carbohydrate diets that were high in animal sources of protein or fat did not show this benefit.

and (from the same source)

Substituting one serving of nuts, low-fat dairy products, or whole grains for a serving of red meat each day lowered the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by an estimated 16 to 35 percent.

If you’re looking to add some plant-based protein to your diet, AIM offers ProPeas. It’s a clean, vegan protein that tastes great in water or almond milk and has only sixty calories per serving.

Published by The AIM Companies

The AIM Companies pioneered the use of plants—barley, carrots, and beets—as vehicles to deliver the body concentrated nutrition conveniently. Founded in 1982 in Nampa, Idaho, The AIM Companies has operations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, providing AIM products to more than 30 countries around the world.

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