Both high-protein and normal-protein diets can help control type 2 diabetes

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Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham have discovered that for people with type 2 diabetes (T2D), the amount of weight loss is more critical than the type of protein consumed in their diet.

The study, published in the journal Obesity, indicated that both high-protein and normal-protein diets were effective in improving glucose control, weight loss, and body composition in T2D patients.

Study Design

In a 52-week randomized controlled trial, 106 adults with T2D were divided into two groups: one followed a high-protein diet, and the other followed a normal-protein diet.

The high-protein diet recommended lean beef intake, while the normal-protein diet excluded red meats. Both diets were calorie-restricted.

The high-protein diet consisted of 40% protein, 32% carbohydrate, and 28% fat, whereas the normal-protein diet was made up of 21% protein, 53% carbohydrate, and 26% fat.

All participants followed the State of Slim weight management program, which involved a regimen of exercise up to 70 minutes per day, six days per week.

Key Findings

Both high-protein and normal-protein diets were found to be effective in controlling glucose levels, reducing weight, and improving body composition.

Lead author James O. Hill and co-author Drew Sayer noted that these findings suggest individuals have the flexibility to choose a dietary pattern that aligns with their preferences and is sustainable in the long term.

The study challenges the notion that the type of protein is a crucial factor in managing T2D.

Instead, it emphasizes the importance of weight loss as a key parameter for improving health outcomes in T2D patients.

This opens up dietary options, allowing patients to choose a diet they are more likely to adhere to, thereby making weight management more sustainable.


For people with type 2 diabetes, this study highlights the importance of focusing on weight loss rather than the specific type of protein consumed.

It suggests that a sustainable and effective approach to managing T2D could involve a choice between different protein sources, depending on personal preferences, as long as the overall focus remains on weight loss.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about Higher dose of this diabetes med could improve blood sugar and weight loss and findings of Common type 2 diabetes drugs may raise heart risk.

For more information about diabetes and health, please read studies about why blood sugar is high in the morning, and how to cook sweet potatoes without increasing blood sugar.

The research findings can be found in Obesity.

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