Diets high in proteins have shown beneficial effects on maintaining glucose levels in short-term trials; and thus, have been suggested as a potential strategy for people with Type 2 Diabetes. However, a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology has shown that increase intake of protein, especially animal protein, increases the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. The study investigated a total of 4,146,216, of which 15,580 cases developed Type 2 Diabetes. The intake of total, animal and vegetable protein was calculated for each individual. It was observed that participants who consumed a greater amount of animal protein were at a higher risk of Type 2 Diabetes, whereas the intake of vegetable protein reduced the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Also, substituting vegetable protein for an equal exchange of animal protein and carbohydrates was associated with reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
These data suggest that adopting a diet rich in plant-based proteins should be considered for Type 2 Diabetes prevention. This has important public health implications, since proteins and carbohydrates are often exchanged for one another in the diet, and both the type of protein and the type of carbohydrate have been associated with Type 2 Diabetes risk. However, confirmatory results from dietary intervention studies are required to provide support for dietary recommendations to increase intake of vegetable protein in place of animal protein.
Source: American Journal of Epidemiology