Proteins in Diabetes

Nutrition in Diabetes


 circle of proteins

Proteins form the building blocks of the body, they are themselves made up or amino acids. Proteins are present in all the cells of the body like muscles, nerves, skin, hair, mouth, intestines , blood etc., they form the essential molecules like DNA RNA, Cell structures, Proteins help in the control Body secretions, Enzymes, Hormones. They help in repair of the body tissues due to daily wear and tear, Proteins form antibodies thus protecting and cleansing our body.

Proteins also provide energy. Each gram of protein provides about 4kcal of energy (same as carbohydrates).

There are some amino acids which cannot be made in the body, they have to be derived through external sources through food only, these are called essential amino acids.


Sources of proteins

Non Vegetarian or Animal sources: Meat, pork beef, fish,egg and poultry products, milk cheese, Yoghurt and other milk products- Paneer, Khoa,

Vegetarian sources: 

Cereals- Wheat, Millet, Maize, Rice

Pulses- Tofu, Legumes, Soya bean, Black Gram (Urad), Bengal Gram ( Chana), Green Gram (Moong), Red Gram (Arhar), Lentils (Masoor), Rajmah (Kidney Beans)

Nuts & Seeds: Almond, Cashew, Mustard seeds, Groundnuts, Watermelon seeds

Vegetables: (contain proteins in Small quantities)-Amaranth (Chaulai), Chana leaves, brussel sprouts, drumstick leaves, mustard leaves, double beans, broad beans, cowpea pods, Water chestnut ( Sighadha)

Spices: Fenugreek seeds ( methi), Cardamom, Coriander, Cumin seeds (jeera), Black pepper, poppy seeds, turmeric

Fruits: in minute quantities- Dates, Black currants, Woodaple (Jamun)

  • The best sources of proteins are Animal proteins, they are easily digested and assimilated in the body.
  • Milk and eggs have the most favourable pattern of amino acids, including essential Amino acids as required by our body.
  • Soya beans are the best source of proteins amongst vegetables, Cereals and pulses are also important sources of vegetable proteins.
A Diabetic Diet should provide about 20% of calories through proteins, which means in a 60 Kg adult the diet should contain atleast  80-100 gms of proteins per day. Protein content of the diet may have to be reduced in Kidney disease as kidneys are unable to excrete the nitrogenous waste products.
One easy way of measuring how much protein may be had in lunch or dinner is the palm method- as advised by WHO, peice of meat, fish or chicken, Tofu or Cottage cheese- approximately the size of palm of the individual may be taken as the measure of protein allowed in one meal.