6. Diet Rich in Plant Protein May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

A high dietary intake of protein from plants rather than meat may decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to researchers from the University of Eastern Finland, who had their study published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

The researchers set out to investigate the links between different dietary protein sources and type 2 diabetes risk. They used data from the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD), which was carried out at the University of Eastern Finland.

Male study participants who had the highest intake of plant protein were 35 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than men with the lowest plant protein intake. Furthermore, using a computer model, lead researcher Virtanen and team estimated that replacing around 5 grams of animal protein with plant protein per day would diminish diabetes risk by 18 percent.

The primary sources of plant protein in this study were grain products, with additional sources including potatoes and other such vegetables. A diet preferring plant protein to meat protein may help protect against type 2 diabetes.

The authors concluded that replacing 1 percent of energy from animal protein with energy from plant protein was associated with 18 percent decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. This association remained after adjusting for BMI. In conclusion, favoring plant and egg proteins appeared to be beneficial in preventing type 2 diabetes.

Overall protein, dairy protein, and fish protein were not connected with a risk of type 2 diabetes, the researchers noted. The team also revealed that, confirming the group's earlier studies, a higher intake of egg protein was identified as able to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

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