Plant Protein Better for Glycemic Control

The Physicians Committee

Plant Protein Better for Glycemic Control

December 8, 2015


Replacing meat with plant protein improves glycemic control in people with diabetes, according to a meta-analysis published in Nutrients. Researchers reviewed 13 randomized controlled trials, encompassing 280 people, on the effects of plant protein in place of animal protein on HbA1C (a measure of blood sugar control over time), fasting glucose, and insulin levels. Those who replaced approximately 35 percent of animal protein with plant protein per day reduced their HbA1C, fasting glucose, and fasting insulin levels. Researchers point to lower iron stores and lower intakes of sodium and nitrates found in processed meats as possible mechanisms for improved glycemic control.

Viguiliouk E, Stewart SE, Jayalath VH, et al. Effect of replacing animal protein with plant protein on glycemic control in diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutrients. 2015;7:9804-9824.


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