This Is Why Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Need a High-Protein Breakfast

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You’ve heard it time and time again: eat breakfast. But this practice may be particularly beneficial in people with type 2 diabetes – but not just any breakfast.

You’ve heard it time and time again: eat breakfast. But this practice may be particularly beneficial in people with type 2 diabetes — but not just any breakfast.

Not only does a high caloric protein breakfast help reduce food intake at dinner, but it helps with weight loss and postprandial glycemia (PPG) in type 2 diabetes. Daniela Jakubowicz, MD, and colleagues from Israel explained why this is the case in a poster session presented at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting (ENDO 2016) in Boston, Massachusetts.

In a study consisting of 48 adults with type 2 diabetes (average age of 58.9, nearly half male/female), the researchers examined the outcomes of three different breakfasts all made up of 660 calories:

1. High-carbohydrate breakfast diet: 13 g protein (such as cereal)

2. High-protein breakfast diet: 36 g protein (such as eggs, tuna, and cheese)

3. Whey Breakfast Diet: 36 g protein (such as a whey protein shake)

All of the participants had the same 567-calorie lunch and 276-calorie dinner.

After 12 weeks on these 1500-calorie diets, the greatest weight loss was observed in those who had the whey breakfast — an average of 16.8 pounds. Weight loss in the high-carbohydrate breakfast diet and high-protein breakfast diet groups averaged about 7.7 pounds and 13.4 pounds, respectively.

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It’s apparent that protein is an important factor in weight loss. Those in the high-protein group lost 44% more weight than those in the high-carbohydrate group. An even greater outcome, those in the whey breakfast group lost 55% more than the high-carbohydrate group.

“Particularly whey protein exerts potent direct insulinotropic effect and through stimulation of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) leading to reduction of PPG in type 2 diabetes,” the authors wrote.

Overall area under curve (AUC) for PPG was lower in the high-protein and whey breakfast groups by 12% and 19% respectively, when compared to the high-carbohydrate group. In addition, the reduction in HbA1c was also the greatest in the whey breakfast group.

The findings suggest that upping protein intake from 13 g to 36 g at breakfast can significantly assist in weight loss and improved HbA1c and PPG levels — which are especially important in those with type 2 diabetes.

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