Diabetes Control or Prevention: Strength Training, Protein Benefits

A study from Purdue University shows that lifting weights and eating extra protein can help to prevent or control diabetes, while enlarging muscles at the same time (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2007). Thirty-six men and women in their sixties lifted weights three times a week for 12 weeks. They ate either a diet that contained 112 percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of protein or 150 percent of the RDA. The higher protein group ate more eggs and dairy products.

After 12 weeks, the weight of both groups remained the same, and they gained the same amount of muscle and lost the same amount of fat. Both groups had the same reduced rise in blood sugar after eating a sugared meal. This means that they reduced their chances of becoming diabetic equally. However, the blood insulin levels decreased more in the low-protein group. The authors conclude that older people who consume adequate amounts of protein can use resistance training to increase muscle, lose fat and decrease their chances of becoming diabetic. Your doctor can help you determine how much protein is appropriate for you.


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