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.
But what are the benefits, and what is the best whey protein for diabetics?
Read on to learn more.
Benefits of Whey Protein for Diabetics
First, though, are there any special reasons why diabetics should take whey protein?
It's notable that they two most common goals that people have in taking whey – increased muscle mass and reduced body fat – can both help to decrease the symptoms of Type II Diabetes.
In fact, a 2013 study in the journal Diabetes Care reported that body composition is the biggest factor in determining risk of developing the condition. In large part, this is because Type II Diabetes is a state of insulin resistance; your body is no longer listening to the signals sent by that particular hormone.
As a result, sugar does not get absorbed by your cells, leaving your blood sugar levels high. Muscle, however, is incredibly sensitive to insulin – and generally hungry for glucose. It stands to reason, then, that they more muscle mass you have, the more sensitive you will be to insulin.
And, as mentioned, whey protein provides your body with everything it needs to make those helpful changes in body composition.
Adding to the reasons that diabetics should be taking whey, is a 2014 study that looked particularly at the effects of taking the protein before breakfast in the morning. Not only did whey reduce the blood sugar spike caused by the meal, but it also increased insulin levels.
Most surprisingly, this boost in insulin was equal to – or higher than – that created by anti-diabetic medications.
Selecting The Best Whey Protein for Diabetics
So, how do you know which is the best whey protein for diabetics?
For starters, avoid any whey protein that contains sweeteners – both natural and artificial. While sweeteners like sugar are notorious for their negative impact on diabetes, many people do not realize that artificial sweeteners can be just as dangerous.
You should also avoid any other additives – whether they are dyes, flavorings or preservatives – as all of these substances can have a negative impact on your overall health.
And, to reap the above-noted benefits, you're going to need to take your whey protein regularly. So, it's important to it be completely clean. Be aware, as well, that many whey protein powders are sourced from farms that keep their cows in feed-lots, where they are exposed to GMOs, hormones, antibiotics and unsanitary conditions.
While this may not directly impact your diabetes, it can influence your health in other ways. To be safe, stick to grass-fed whey, produced by cows that have been allowed to pasture and have not been treated with any potentially harmful chemicals or medications.