New Study Highlights People with Diabetes May Not Be Consuming Enough Protein

A new study conducted by The Ohio State University and Abbott identified that half of Americans surveyed living with diabetes consumed less than the recommended amount of protein, which was associated with greater physical limitations, poorer diet quality and an increased consumption of carbohydrates, which may negatively impact glucose goals.

The study, published in the scientific journal of human nutrition, Nutrients, examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), collected between 2005 and 2016 of more than 23,000 adults in the U.S.

Specific findings from the study showed:

People with diabetes who did not meet their daily recommendation of protein:

  • reported more physical limitations, most commonly difficulty stooping, crouching, kneeling, standing for long periods, and pushing or pulling large objects.
  • showed poorer diet quality, lower nutrient density and consumed more carbohydrates.

“This study highlights the importance of the quality of foods in our diet, as well as the quantity of nutrients we need daily—both of which have a significant impact on health and mobility, especially for people living with diabetes,” said Sara Thomas, Ph.D., R.D.N., a research scientist and dietitian at Abbott specializing in diabetes. “Nutrition education will help people successfully manage a condition like diabetes, emphasizing the need to achieve a well-rounded diet with the right nutrients and avoid foods that are detrimental to optimal health.”

It can be complicated to understand your individual macro-and micronutrient goals for protein, carbohydrates and vitamins and minerals. The National Academy of Medicine developed the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI), a set of reference values used to plan and assess nutrient intakes and provide recommended consumption levels. The DRI calculator can help determine individual nutrient needs for overall micro-and macronutrient intakes. Individuals should discuss their recommended nutrient consumption with a healthcare professional for optimal guidance.

Earlier this year, Abbott introduced Glucerna 30g Protein Shake made with CARBSTEADY®, a unique blend of slow-release carbohydrates and 30 grams of protein per serving, to help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar* and better meet their individual protein goals. Glucerna encourages people with diabetes to consider swapping out poor meal or snack choices with Glucerna shakes to better meet their nutritional goals.

Consult with a healthcare professional to better understand your recommended nutrient consumption, and if Glucerna Shakes can benefit you.

For further information about Glucerna, visit

* Designed to help minimize blood sugar spikes in people with diabetes compared to high glycemic carbohydrates.


Content provided by the Abbott nutrition team and approved by TCOYD.

1 Comment
  1. Hint water.

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