25 to 30 g of protein for breakfast prevents blood sugar spikes

April 30, 2015 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News

25 to 30 g of protein for breakfast prevents blood sugar spikes

People with Type 2 diabetes have difficulty regulating their glucose -- or blood sugar -- levels, particularly after meals. Now, University of Missouri researchers have found that eating more protein at breakfast can help reduce glucose spikes at both breakfast and lunch.

What you eat and when you eat make a difference to your glucose response – how quickly your blood glucose will rise after eating. For example, if people skip breakfast, their glucose response at lunch will be huge.

In the study, the researchers found those who ate breakfast experienced appropriate glucose responses after lunch.

The research team monitored levels of glucose, insulin and several gut hormones -- which help regulate the insulin response -- after breakfast and lunch in people with Type 2 diabetes. The participants ate either high-protein or high-carbohydrate breakfasts, and the lunch included a standard amount of protein and carbohydrate.

The researchers found eating more protein at breakfast lowered individuals' post-meal glucose levels. Insulin levels were slightly elevated after the lunch meal, which demonstrated that individuals' bodies were working appropriately to regulate blood-sugar levels.

"The first meal of the day is critical in maintaining glycemic control at later meals, so it really primes people for the rest of the day," say the researchers.  Eating breakfast prompts cells to increase concentrations of insulin at the second meal, which shows that the body is acting appropriately by trying to regulate glucose levels.

Even so, it is important for people with Type 2 diabetes to understand that different foods will affect them differently, and to really understand how they respond to meals, they need to consistently track their glucose. Trigger foods may change depending on how much physical activity people have gotten that day or how long they have waited between meals.

Although it would be helpful for individuals with high blood sugar to eat more protein, they do not need to consume extreme amounts of protein to reap the benefits. The researchers suggest consuming 25 to 30 grams of protein at breakfast.

Protein-rich breakfast foods include eggs (1 large = 6 g protein), egg whites (2 large = 7.2 g), milk (1 cup = 8 g), unflavoured soy milk (1 c = 8 g), yogurt (3/4 cup plain = 9.6 g), Greek Yogurt (3/4 cup plain = 18 to 20 g), cottage cheese (1/4 cup = 7 g), part skim riicotta (1/4 cup = 7 g).

Source : Journal of Nutrition, 2014.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.