Plant proteins found to help prevent Type 2 diabetes
02/17/2019 // Russel Davis // Views

Diets rich in plant protein may help reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, a recent study found. The findings demonstrate that protein sources play a role in the onset of the disease, researchers said. To carry out the study, researchers at the University of Eastern Finland pooled data from the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study and analyzed the diets of more than 2,000 men. The researchers also used grain products as the primary source of plant protein for the participants. Other protein sources included potatoes and other vegetables.

According to the study, men who had the highest intake of plant proteins were 35 percent less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes compared with those who had the lowest consumption. The research team also found that replacing five grams of animal protein with plant protein daily may cut the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by up to 18 percent. High plant protein intake was also associated with lower blood sugar levels at the start of the study. This may explain the correlation between plant proteins and reduced off Type 2 diabetes onset, the researchers added. The research team also found that consuming both processed and unprocessed meat was associated with increased odds of developing diabetes. The findings were published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

The recent findings coincide with previous research linking plant protein consumption with lower diabetes risk. An analysis published in 2016 confirmed that plant-based diets may help cut the risk of diabetes onset. As part of research, scientists at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health examined data from three long-term studies with a total patient population of more than 200,000 participants.


The analysis found that a high adherence to a plant-based diet reduced the risk of diabetes onset by up to 34 percent. The researchers also found that people who followed a plant-based diet but also ate unhealthy food items were still able to lower the risk of diabetes by up to 16 percent. “Even moderate dietary changes in the direction of a healthful plant-based diet can play a significant role in the prevention of type-2 diabetes. These findings provide further evidence to support current dietary recommendations for chronic disease prevention,” said lead author Ambika Satij in an article in Boston Magazine

The results were published in the journal PLOS Medicine.

Recent study further establishes link between red meat, diabetes

The results of the recent study demonstrated once more that regular (processed) red meat intake was tied to higher diabetes risk. A 2011 analysis by the Harvard School of Public Health found that red meat consumption elevates the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. To assess this, the research team pooled data from three previous studies with a total population of 442,101 participants. According to the review, each 100-gram serving of unprocessed red meat was linked to a 19 percent increased odds of Type 2 diabetes onset. The analysis also showed that one daily serving of 50 grams of processed red meat may raise the risk of Type 2 diabetes by up to 51 percent.

However, the research team found that people who substituted red meat with one serving of nuts per day had a 21 percent reduction in Type 2 diabetes risk. Substituting red meat with either low-fat dairy or whole grains may significantly reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 17 percent and 23 percent, respectively, the researchers added.

“Clearly, the results from this study have huge public health implications given the rising type-2 diabetes epidemic and increasing consumption of red meats worldwide.  The good news is that such troubling risk factors can be offset by swapping red meat for a healthier protein," said researcher Frank Hu in

The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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