Whey protein has a ton of health benefits, even though most people immediately associate it with the health and fitness realm.
And, within that application, there's a good reason for its popularity: whey protein has been shown to encourage an overall healthy body composition – meaning it helps to builds lean muscle and reduce fat.
The popular powder, though, has plenty of other uses. For one thing, whey can be extremely useful to diabetics.
How? Is there a particular type of whey protein they should look for?
The Benefits of Whey Protein for Diabetics
The first thing to consider when discussing whey protein and diabetes is the fact that whey is a high protein food. This also means that it is naturally low in carbohydrates.
Considered together, these nutritional facts mean that whey has a very low glycemic index (meaning that it will have little effect on insulin levels) and will still be a filling food. In general, this places whey within the bounds of the type of foods usually recommended for diabetics.
But, recent research has found yet another reason for diabetics to use whey: the powder can actually reduce the severity of an insulin response even after a meal that would normal cause a massive spike.
In the study, 15 subjects with type 2 diabetes took 50 grams of whey 30 minutes before eating a high glycemic index meal and had their blood tested periodically before and after the meal. The team of researchers found that, after drinking whey, the insulin response was reduced by 28 percent.
Clearly, whey could (and should) have a place in a healthy eating plan to control diabetes.
Other Considerations for Whey Protein Powders & Diabetes
Unfortunately, not all whey protein powders are the same. Many have been loaded with other ingredients – including sweeteners.
As mentioned, the key to managing diabetes rests in properly controlling your insulin response through low glycemic index foods. This means that sweetener-laden foods are not a good choice.
Even whey protein powders that use low- or no-calorie artificial sweeteners should be avoided. While these ingredients should logically be safe for diabetics since they have virtually no effect on insulin levels, they have been linked in multiple studies with an increased risk of diabetes, obesity and even certain cancers.
When it comes to selecting the best whey protein for diabetics, then, the trick would be finding one with no added sweeteners. This would give you all of the above-mentioned benefits of whey protein, with none of the unwanted effects of additives.
Naked Nutrition products are proud to only contain easily understandable ingredients, and all of our protein powders include only one ingredient. This means there are no added sweeteners and any sugars occur naturally. In fact, none of our products include any sweeteners, we leave that decision up to you.