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Whey protein breakfast helps with type 2 diabetes management

Tuesday 5th April 2016
Type 2 diabetics who eat a breakfast high in whey protein may see less dramatic spikes in their blood glucose levels throughout the day. Image: iStock/v_rachal
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Dieticians advising patients with type 2 diabetes may wish to recommend that they consume a breakfast high in whey protein to allow them to better manage their condition.

New research from Israel's Tel Aviv University suggests that eating a meal with a high whey protein content soon after waking can lead to less dramatic fluctuations in blood glucose levels throughout the rest of the day.

This discovery was made following analysis of 48 overweight or obese type 2 diabetics with an average age of 59, who were assigned to one of three diet plans for a 23-month period, all of which involved the same number of calories.

Each of the diets required participants to eat a large breakfast, mid-sized lunch and a small evening meal, but the level of protein in each breakfast varied. One was high in carbohydrates, another was heavy in protein-based foods, such as eggs and fish, while the third was centred around whey protein, primarily in the form of shakes.

Whey protein, which is usually serviced in powder form, is a byproduct of the milk used during cheese production.

After the first 12 weeks, it was found that those eating the whey protein breakfasts had lost the greatest amount of weight (an average of 16.7 lbs each) in comparison to participants in the other diet groups.

What's more, a breakfast high in whey protein led to the dieters feeling less hungry than their standard protein or carbohydrate-eating counterparts throughout the rest of the day, and it also saw them experience lower glucose spikes, suggesting that this could be an effective breakfast for type 2 diabetics.

Daniela Jakubowicz, lead author of the study, commented: "A high-calorie protein breakfast, medium-sized lunch and small dinner is a proven successful strategy for weight loss, improved satiety and reduced glucose spikes throughout the day in people with obesity and type 2 diabetes.

"However, the benefits of high protein content at breakfast also depend on the protein source and quality."

Written by Martin Lambert

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