Whey Protein for Diabetes

Whey Protein for Diabetes

Whey protein is an essential protein found in milk and dairy products. It has been shown in various tests to help in muscle preservation, weight loss, and satiety. Others claim it improves cholesterol levels, lowers blood pressure, and even lowers the risk of heart disease.

A recent study found that combining a whey protein supplement with water and a high glycemic index meal can reduce postprandial blood glucose levels in type-2 diabetes patients. Here’s everything you should know about whey Protein for diabetes.

Nutritional Value of Whey Protein

Whey protein is a nutrient-dense protein ideal for supplementation or fortification. It’s considered a complete protein because it’s low in lactose content and contains all nine essential amino acids.

According to the USDA, a 3-scoop serving of whey protein powder isolate offers 50 g of protein and 25 g of carbs. Although it contains zero fiber, its sugar content is also very low at 0.998 g. Moreover, its high protein content ensures you get filled quicker and eat less, aiding weight loss.

Whey protein is also high in amino acids, which helps to keep blood sugar stable and reduces insulin response after meals.

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Health Benefits of Whey Protein

Here are some of the reasons you should consider consuming whey protein.

Blood Sugar Management

Diabetes is a condition marked by elevated blood sugar levels and insulin dysfunction. Insulin is a hormone that stimulates blood sugar uptake into cells, allowing it to stay within healthy ranges.

When eaten before or alongside high-carb meals, whey protein can enhance insulin secretion and sensitivity, which helps maintain blood sugar.

Aids Inflammation Reduction

Inflammation is how the body responds to injury, but it can be damaging in the long term. Notably, chronic inflammation is linked to a variety of disorders, including type-2 diabetes. Thankfully, whey protein at high doses may lower C-reactive protein levels in the blood, which can help reduce inflammation, and in turn, help manage diabetes.

Lowers Blood Pressure

One of the risk factors for persons with diabetes is heart disease, and it’s caused by abnormally high blood pressure (hypertension).

Thankfully, research links the consumption of dairy products to a reduced blood pressure level. More particularly, supplementing with whey protein (27 g of protein) twice daily for 12 weeks decreased systolic blood pressure (SBP) by 4% and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) by 3.3% in overweight people.

Aids Weight Loss

Since obesity and excess weight are common comorbidities of diabetes, weight management is an essential therapy in diabetes treatment. Whey protein helps you burn more calories by boosting your metabolism. When compared to other protein sources, whey protein has proven to be highly effective in fat burning. It also helps in suppressing appetite, resulting in lower calorie intake.

Has Antioxidant Properties

Antioxidants protect the body from oxidation, reduce oxidative stress and lower the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes. In humans, glutathione is one of the most significant antioxidants produced in the body. Whey proteins have been shown to lower oxidative stress and boost antioxidant defenses like glutathione in elderly patients with acute ischemic stroke.

Aids Muscle growth

Losing muscle mass can result in weight gain and increase the chance of developing various conditions for a person with diabetes. Luckily, whey protein is beneficial for preventing age-related muscle loss, as well as improving strength and giving the body a more attractive appearance.

Further Research on Whey Protein for Diabetes

There are several pieces of research highlighting the relationship between whey protein and diabetes.

Notably, one recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that ingesting whey protein could help people with diabetes. In the research, the intake of just 15 g of whey protein before breakfast and lunch increased insulin release and reduced glycemic levels in type 2 diabetic men. In addition, it boosted satiety in these men, further benefiting diabetes management.


So far, it’s clear that the benefits of whey protein for diabetics are many. From reduced blood sugar levels to inflammation reduction and antioxidant effects, people with diabetes are sure to benefit from whey protein supplementation. Hence, if you’re looking to add this protein to your diet, you have the green light already. However, you can consult with your doctor or dietician for further advice.

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