Potato and rice protein shakes for managing blood glucose levels

Diabetic and obese people need to carefully monitor their blood glucose levels, as too much sugar in the blood can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems. Looking for plant-based alternatives to milk-based whey protein shakes for monitoring your glucose levels? Potato and rice protein shakes may be a better option. A study, published in the journal Nutrients, has suggested that potato and rice protein shakes may be potential viable alternatives to milk-based whey protein shakes for this purpose. In fact, the authors from the Centre for Nutraceuticals at the University of Westminster said that potato and rice proteins can help better manage blood glucose levels and reduce spikes in insulin compared to whey protein.

For the study, participants were asked to drink either potato, rice or whey protein shakes. Their blood metabolic response was measured as well as their appetite was monitored in the following three hours. According to the researchers, the participants who drunk vegan protein shakes had a lower rise in blood insulin compared to those who had whey protein shakes. Potato protein even prevented any rise in insulin. No differences were observed in appetite perception between the three different protein shakes, they said.

Based on their findings, the researchers indicated that consumption of the plant-based protein many lead to better blood glucose control compared to whey protein. This means drinking vegan protein shakes may benefit individuals who need to control their blood glucose levels such as diabetic and obese persons.

Health risks of high blood sugar

A normal blood sugar level is less than 140 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). If the reading is more than 200 mg/dL two hours after the start of a meal, it indicates diabetes, while a reading between 140 and 199 mg/dL indicates prediabetes. But hyperglycemia doesn’t cause symptoms until blood sugar levels are above 180 to 200 mg/dL.

If left untreated, hyperglycemia or high blood sugar can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs and lead to complications affecting your eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart. So, it is important to treat the condition promptly. Watch out for early signs and symptoms of high blood sugar which include: thirst, headaches, trouble concentrating, blurred vision, frequent peeing, fatigue (weak, tired feeling), and weight loss.

If hyperglycemia is left untreated, it can lead to toxic acids (ketones) building up in your blood and urine (ketoacidosis). When this happens, the patient will likely experience these symptoms: fruity-smelling breath, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, dry mouth, weakness, confusion, coma, and abdominal pain.

A healthy diet and exercise are the first steps to managing your blood sugar levels.  When diet and exercise alone are not sufficient to lower your blood sugar levels, your healthcare provider may prescribe diabetes medications and insulin injections.

How protein helps in blood sugar control

Protein increases feelings of fullness, slows digestion, and prevents post-meal blood sugar spikes. In addition, it helps prevent overeating and promote weight loss, which are essential for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. There are a variety of plant-based protein alternatives for vegetarians and vegans such as soy, rice, wheat and pea proteins. But there is limited evidence on their health benefits in comparison to milk proteins. This study provides the first evidence to suggest that potato and rice protein may be potentially viable alternatives whey protein sources.

This post first appeared on The Health Site

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