Type 2 Diabetes Food List – Proteins
Food List – Precocious Proteins!
In this second part of a multi-part series on the Type 2 Diabetes Food List I talk about proteins. The first part of the series on Carbohydrates can be found here. In the next part in the series I will talk about fats, and it may even surprise you. Come back or sign up to get notified when it gets published. Just like carbohydrates, proteins are an essential part of our body’s continued existence. Issues can arise though, because only some of those proteins are created within our bodies. Reading this article will help you understand proteins, and why they are integral to any Type 2 Diabetes Food List.
What are Proteins?
Our bodies depend on proteins for structure and function. They help to regulate cells, tissues, and organs to such an extent that we cannot exist without them. All proteins consist of amino acids, linked together in long chains. Which included amino acids in these long chains determine what that protein is and does. You might see proteins as tiny little manufacturers of life, that work within your cells to keep you running. At the cellular level, there are a great many proteins, each with a specific job to do. We are concerned with typically two types of proteins, complete and incomplete. Complete proteins have all the amino acids the body needs to build cells and regenerate. Whereas an incomplete protein lacks in one or more amino acids.
Amino Acids – What’s the Big Deal?
Amino acid: any of a group of organic molecules that consist of a basic amino group (−NH2), an acidic carboxyl group (−COOH), and an organic R group (or side chain) that is unique to each amino acid. Of the hundreds of amino acids in nature, there are 20 standard amino acids the human body needs to survive. These 20 amino acids are categorized as nonessential and essential. Nonessential amino acids can be made by the body as long as you are not malnourished. Essential amino acids cannot be synthesized by the body on its own, and so must be ingested. Below is a list of the 20 Amino acids that human bodies require in order to go on living.
Type 2 Diabetes Food List – Complete Proteins
Now that you understand what it takes to make a complete protein, what foods contain them? Most of your complete proteins come from animal products. In my Foods to Avoid article I talked about red meats and processed meats, so you may want to look back as that article. In the table below I list some foods that contain complete proteins, and they are not all animal products. I recommend any diabetic to consider these foods as part of their diet for the benefits they provide.
In my journey to a diabetes free life, I stayed away from all red meat except wild game. Now that I am diabetes free, I may sometimes eat a little red meat, but I keep it in minor proportion. Note that I have included a column for my subjective rating, and a comment field for each food. I derived my rating from my own experiences and opinions on how good or bad that food is for a type 2 diabetic. Feel free to incorporate this rating (1 = low rating, 10 = high rating) in your consideration or ignore it as nonsense, I have no skin in this.
Type 2 Diabetes Food List – Incomplete Proteins
What about those proteins that are incomplete? Can we just discard the incomplete proteins because they don’t give us what we need? Even foods with incomplete proteins have value. Sometimes that value is isn’t in the protein content, but we can mix with other foods that have complementary proteins. When we do this right, we can still get all the proteins we need and without complete protein foods. We can also add variety to our diabetic diet when we mix and match. This is part of the reason we should plan our diet as I mentioned in Own your Type 2 Diabetes and Treatment recently. Below are some sources of incomplete proteins, followed by examples matching complimentary proteins. Mix the complimentary proteins to build your complete protein source. One last thing, for mixing and matching, you need to eat the complimentary proteins sometime in the same day.
Most grains like corn, wheat, oats, barley, and rice. Mixing these with legumes makes them a complimentary match, but be careful of the white rice and the carbs. You can also combine grains with dairy products to get a match.
Beans, Peas, and Lentils and peanuts are all legumes. You can mix and match these with grains and seeds to get a match. An example is a peanut butter on wheat sandwich, or lentils and barley.
Match Sesame or Sunflower seeds can to legumes. Combining legumes, nuts, and seeds also provides a complete protein.
Quinoa leaves are considered a vegetable. One of the few vegetables that provide protein, but the grains provide a complete protein, so there is usually no need to combine it with anything except for taste. The leaves would pair up with nuts and legumes for a match.
Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, … Combine these with legumes and you have a good match, throw in a bit of seeds or grains and you have a good pairing as well.
Proteins – Essential for Life
From this part of the Type 2 Diabetes Food List series, you learned about Proteins, one of the essentials of life. Far too many Americans miss out on a good education of the three essentials for the body. For that reason, I decided to write this series of articles. You don’t need to read the first article first, but you can find it as Type 2 Diabetes Food List – Carbohydrates. When complete, I will edit this article to include a link to Type 2 Diabetes Food List – Fats, so you can easily navigate to it as well.
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