Nutr Res Pract.  2021 Feb;15(1):54-65. 10.4162/nrp.2021.15.1.54.

Changes in the glucose and insulin responses according to high-protein snacks for diabetic patients

  • 1Department of Nutritional Science and Food Management, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 03760, Korea
  • 2Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul Medical Center, Seoul 02053, Korea
  • 3College of Science & Industry Convergence, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 03760, Korea


This study aimed to develop healthy, appetizing high-protein snacks with enhanced isolated soy protein for diabetic patients and determine the blood glucose and insulin response after being consumed by these patients.
Thirty adult patients aged between 30 and 75 years, with a ≤ 10-year history of type 2 diabetes and hemoglobin A1c of < 7.5%, were enrolled in this study. They made 3 clinical visits at one-week intervals. The control group consumed 50 g carbohydrates (white bread), whereas the test groups consumed high-protein grain (HP_G) or high-protein chocolate (HP_C) after an 8-hrs fast. Blood (2 cm 3 ) was drawn at 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120 min before and after consumption to analyze the blood glucose and insulin concentrations.
Compared to the commercial snacks, the developed high-protein snacks had belowaverage calorie, carbohydrate, and fat content and a 2.5-fold higher protein content. In diabetic patients who consumed these snacks, the postprandial blood glucose increased between 15 min and 2 h after consumption, which was significantly slower than the time taken for the blood glucose to increase in the patients who consumed the control food product (P< 0.001). Insulin secretion was significantly lower at 45 min after consumption (P < 0.05), showing that the highprotein snacks did not increase the blood glucose levels rapidly. The incremental area under the curve (iAUC), which indicated the degree of blood sugar and insulin elevation after food intake, was higher in the control group than the groups given the 2 developed snacks (P < 0.001), and there was no significant difference in insulin secretion.
The results of the postprandial blood glucose and insulin response suggest that high-protein snacks are potential convenient sources of high-quality protein and serve as a healthier alternative for patients with type 2 diabetes, who may have limited snack product choices. Such snacks may also provide balanced nutrition to pre-diabetic and obese individuals.


Diabetes mellitus; type 2; soybean proteins; snacks; blood glucose
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