Park Ridge, Ill. (December 5, 2013) Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes, costing an economically devastating $245 billion per year in medical costs. Projections suggest one in three Americans will have diabetes in 2050 if present trends continue.1 To help shed light on the role of diet in the prevention and management of diabetes and diabetes-related risk factors, the Egg Nutrition Center (ENC) convened a group of internationally-recognized experts today for The Controversial Role of Dietary Protein in Diabetes and Related Disorders Satellite Symposium in conjunction with the American Society for Nutrition's Advances & Controversies in Clinical Nutrition.
Experts discussed new research that points to the benefits of increased dietary protein for improving type 2 diabetes risk factors. "Nutrient-rich eggs are one of the most affordable sources of high quality protein," says Mitch Kanter, PhD, Executive Director at the Egg Nutrition Center. "By bringing together leading researchers and clinicians, we hope to shed more light on macronutrients' impact on diabetes and the role protein may play in managing this staggering epidemic."
Highlights from the Symposium included research from Theresa Nicklas, DrPH, Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, that showed meal patterns rich in protein-containing foods, such as eggs, were associated with improvements in risk factors for type 2 diabetes such as body mass index and waist circumference compared to meal patterns high in refined carbohydrates.2,3 Additionally, experts discussed research presented by Barbara Gower, PhD, Professor at the University of Alabama, that showed diets lower in carbohydrate, and specifically refined grains, result in greater insulin sensitivity and reduced deposition of abdominal fat in individuals at high risk for diabetes.4
Historically, recommendations for dietary protein were only based on the structural and functional properties of amino acids. However, new research supports the benefits of incorporating high-quality protein at each meal at the expense of carbohydrates to improve satiety and help with glucose regulation as well as promote a favorable body composition. Given the growing body of scientific evidence and the latest research-based discussions, it is important to recognize the health benefits of consuming high-quality protein throughout the day.
According to Symposium speaker, diabetes educator and dietitian Amy Campbell, "I consistently see better blood glucose control and decreased tendency to over-eat in my patients who incorporate high-quality protein foods into their diets throughout the day. Further, defining the mechanisms behind these results could change the diabetes landscape moving forward."
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