When a person’s blood sugar spikes immediately following a larger meal or snack it is known as post-meal hyperglycemia. While it is normal for the blood sugar to vary slightly throughout the day, those with dramatic spikes or dips in their blood sugar could cause their body harm and experiencing a number of unwanted side effects. In order to combat this trend, some researchers have turned to whey protein, a product that they claim will help minimize changes to glucose levels after meals.
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Understanding Post-Meal Blood Spikes
There are a variety of factors that will affect how the body’s blood sugar will be affected immediately following a meal. This includes the types of foods that are eaten, how much food is eaten, one’s overall health, and if any insulin shots have been taken. While portion control and maintaining a well-balanced diet is the best option for regulating blood sugar spikes, many individuals still struggle with hyperglycemia.
This is especially problematic for those with diabetes, as shifts in the blood sugar could present a number of medical issues, especially if they continue to take place over and over. Studies have connected diabetic blood spikes to issues such as kidney failure, retinal damage, cancer and cardiovascular disease. For the 25 million Americans that have been diagnosed with diabetes, one of the best options to control this could be nothing more than a whey protein shake or supplement.
Whey Protein and Glucose Levels
Recent studies that have been carried out in Sweden, Israel, and the United States have shown that diabetics that consume a whey protein shake immediately before a meal have a much lower chance of hyperglycemia following a meal. The whey protein shakes were consumed 15 or 20 minutes before each meal of the day and helped the body naturally regular glucose level. In some cases, insulin shots were no longer needed as the body’s natural insulin response was improved with a whey protein shake. These findings were then compared to traditional diabetes medication and the whey protein was found to have an equal or better response in the test subjects.
For those that are interested in controlling their own glucose spikes with this method, there are some important things to consider. First, patients should always speak with their primary healthcare provider or a diabetes specialist before they cycle off of their insulin or would like to try an alternative to insulin injections. When taking whey, the individual will generally need around 50mg of whey protein mixed in water around 20 minutes before their next meal. As an added bonus, the caloric intake from the whey protein shake could also help those with a history of overeating as it may partially suppress their appetite and lead to smaller meals and better portion control.