Health Questions and Answers

What are dietary protein requirements in diabetes?

Diabetic patients are advised to strive for a moderate protein intake. While it is true that protein turnover is increased in poorly controlled diabetes, this should not influence recommendations on dietary protein intake. When diabetes is controlled, protein metabolism becomes normal. The average dietary protein intake in the U.S. is 1.5gm/kg, which is in excess of the recommended daily allowance and may contribute to nephrosclerosis and osteoporosis. Studies have shown that restricting protein in patients with diabetic nephropathy reduces proteinuria. It is, therefore, prudent for diabetic patients to avoid high-protein diets. The diabetic diet should contain moderate amounts of protein, usually 15-20% of total energy.

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