Can Protein Help with Weight Loss and the Management of Diabetes
The essential component to achieving weight loss is a calorie deficit. There are many ways to achieve this, here we discuss the role of protein in supporting weight loss and in managing diabetes.
PART 1: PROTEIN AND WEIGHT LOSS
There are four main proposed mechanisms which one could argue that a high protein diet is important in supporting weight loss:
1. Thermic Effect of Food
After you eat, some calories are used for the purpose of digesting and metabolising food. This is called the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). TEF represents about 10% of caloric intake of healthy adults. This varies based on your lean body mass and size and the composition of the meal. The energy required to digest each macronutrient can be expressed as a percentage
- Fat: 0-3%
- Carbs: 5-10%
- Protein: 20-30%
i.e. To digest protein we use up a higher percentage of calories therefore burning more calories overall.
2. Weight-regulating hormones
Protein may reduce levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, while boosting appetite reducing hormones GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin. More research is needed to explore this area.
Higher-protein diets may increase satiety levels (the feeling of feeling ‘full’ after eating), leading to reduced hunger and appetite compared to lower protein diets. This may result in eating less often, a decrease in total caloric intake and further weight loss.
Eating more protein, especially at breakfast, could be the key to achieving healthy weight loss, according to this CSIRO report
4. Increased muscle mass
While at rest, muscle burns more calories than fat. Therefore, maintaining muscle mass could make it easier to maintain your metabolism. This effect is small however it is worth mentioning, muscle burns 12kcal/kg/day compared to fat burning 4kcal/kg/day. We know that protein is important in supporting muscle building and repair.
While many diets promise the success of weight loss, the protein content of the diet is an important factor to consider. Protein will help you to feel fuller, maintain muscle mass, increase calories burnt while eating and potentially support your hunger hormones. The spread of protein throughout the day is also important, focus on an even amount of protein with each meal rather than waiting until dinner for a large portion.
To find out the correct amount of protein you should be eating, check this blog out.
If you struggle to reach your protein requirements through food alone, consider the use of a quality protein supplement, see our top picks here.
PART 2: PROTEIN AND DIABETES MANAGEMENT
Managing diabetes can be challenging and understanding the role of protein in managing blood glucose levels may be the key to good control.
1. Protein slows digestion and reduces blood glucose spikes
Protein lowers a food’s glycaemic response. That is, the effect that food has on blood sugar levels after eating. It does this via stimulating additional insulin secretion and delaying stomach emptying, thereby slowing the rate at which carbohydrates can be digested and absorbed.
2. Whey protein and glycemic control
Specifically, whey protein intake has been shown to reduce postprandial glycemia (i.e. blood sugars after eating). It achieves this by slowing gastric emptying and stimulating the release of gut peptides. It is also a rich source of amino acids, and these directly stimulate beta cells to secrete insulin which contributes to the reduction in postprandial glycaemia.
Further research is required to define the optimal dose and timing for whey protein ingestion of overall glycaemic control but it is definitely a research space to watch.
3. Limit protein powders with added sugars and carbohydrates
Many protein powders have added fillers, carbohydrates and sweeteners. These additives will all have various impacts on blood glycemic control. Our top pick for a pure protein is Boomers Whey Protein Isolate as it has no added carbohydrates, flavours or sugars.
4. Common concerns
High protein diets do not cause ‘kidney problems’ unless the person has a pre-existing kidney condition. Kidney problems can be present among those with diabetes, speak to your doctor and/or an Accredited Dietitian for personalised advice.
Boomers is respected in the medical community
See more information here…
Boomers has teamed up with Pharmacy 777 stores to help with their current ‘Health Focus’ campaign on weightloss and Diabetes during December 2020 and January 2021.
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- Frank, K., Patel, K., Lopez, G., & Willis, B. (2020). Thermic Effect of Food Research Analysis. Retrieved 30 November 2020, from https://examine.com/topics/thermic-effect-of-food/
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- Blom, W., Lluch, A., Stafleu, A., Vinoy, S., Holst, J., Schaafsma, G., & Hendriks, H. (2006). Effect of a high-protein breakfast on the postprandial ghrelin response. The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 83(2), 211-220. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/83.2.211
- What affects the GI value? - Glycemic Index Foundation. (2020). Retrieved 30 November 2020, from https://www.gisymbol.com/what-affects-the-gi-value/
- Almario, R., Buchan, W., Rocke, D., & Karakas, S. (2017). Glucose-lowering effect of whey protein depends upon clinical characteristics of patients with type 2 diabetes. BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, 5(1), e000420. doi: 10.1136/bmjdrc-2017-000420
- Is breakfast protein the secret to weight loss? - CSIRO. (2020). Retrieved 30 November 2020, from https://www.csiro.au/en/News/News-releases/2018/Is-breakfast-protein-the-secret-to-weight-loss
Mignone, L. (2015). Whey protein: The “whey” forward for treatment of type 2 diabetes?. World Journal Of Diabetes, 6(14), 1274. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v6.i14.1274