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Debunking myths about protein and training for a woman in her 50s with diabetes

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  • Debunking myths about protein and training for a woman in her 50s with diabetes

    Dear Dr. Feigenbaum,

    My mother was diagnosed with diabetes today. She hasn't specified whether it was Type I or Type II.

    I'm trying to get her on a higher protein diet as well as resistance training, but she says that higher protein is bad for the liver, whey protein supplements on the market all hide dangerous chemicals in their ingredients, and that weight training is bad for her bones.

    Could you provide some links to the literature that dispels these false beliefs?

    My mom is an unbelievable skeptic and all she wants to combat diabetes is "walking more" and "eating less protein."

    She says she won't change her mind unless I give her some evidence, so I want to make sure I bring quality evidence that you can recommend.

    Please help, doc! I don't want my mom to end up being thin and frail when she is in her 70s due to the absence of resistance training and low protein consumption :'(

    Kind Regards,

    Eddie

  • #2
    Hey Eddie,

    Sounds like your mom likely has type II DM and good on you for wanting to help her. It is likely going to be difficult to change her mind, but if she'd just ask her doctor and the nutritionist she should have been referred to, she'd likely get the same information you're trying to give her. That may not be appropriate however, as behavior change is a bit more complicated than that.

    With respect to protein, her age-recommended protein intake is ~ 1.4-2.0g/kg bodyweight per day according to the latest ESPEN guidelines (see latest YT video for this). The current guidelines for her include resistance training per the 2018 PAGA. As far as weight training being bad for her bones, that's precisely the opposite as far as data we have on pain from osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and osteopenia, fall risk, etc.

    That all being said, I'm going to employ the Socratic method here:

    1) What have you found?
    2) What evidence has she provided for her claims? If none, those are oddly specific positions to hold.

    -Jordan
    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
    ///Website /// Instagram /// Periā„¢ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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