Protein is one of the three major nutrients found in food. Just like a carbohydrate is made up of links of glucose, so protein is made up of links of amino acids.

Amino acids are important building blocks in making and repairing muscles, and developing bone, hormones, and enzymes.

Protein does not increase blood glucose levels since it doesn’t contain glucose. Although protein doesn’t require insulin to move out of the bloodstream and into the cells of the body, it can stimulate the production of insulin and in doing so may help to manage blood glucose.

On the other hand, a diet that contains too much animal protein may increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. However, a diet with plenty of plant-based proteins may modestly decrease this risk.

Protein is an essential nutrient in meats, fish, and certain vegetables, such as nuts, beans, and legumes.

A person with diabetes should favour foods with lots of protein but little animal fat, such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, pilchards), poultry, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, soya and tofu.

Try to add some protein to every meal.


Studies have shown that replacing carbohydrate with protein and fat can improve blood glucose control as well as help with weight (perhaps because protein and fat keep you fuller for longer).

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