If you are trying to conceive then forget high protein diets, particularly if they focus on red meat. The latest findings from the large US Nurses Health Study show that women who had the highest intakes of animal protein were 50% more likely to develop gestational diabetes (GDM) while those eating more vegetable protein had a 30% lower risk. Substituting 5% of energy from animal protein with vegetable protein lowered the risk by half. When they looked at major protein foods, higher intakes of red meat doubled the risk of GDM while higher intakes of nuts reduced the risk more than 25%.
The message: if you are planning a pregnancy, or are already pregnant, and you want to avoid diabetes, then choose your protein wisely aiming for more plant than animal protein, from foods such as legumes, wholegrains, nuts, seeds and tofu. The study has just been published online ahead of print in Diabetes Care.