Swedish researchers contend that adding dairy whey to meals with rapidly digested and absorbed carbohydrates stimulates insulin release and reduces after-meal blood glucose excursion.
According to the researchers, whey proteins stimulate and affect the production and activity of insulin and reduce after-meal blood glucose in healthy subjects. The aim of their study was to evaluate whether supplementing high glycemic index (GI) meals with whey proteins increases insulin secretion and improves blood glucose control in subjects with type 2 diabetes.
For the study, 14 diet-treated participants with type 2 were served a high-GI breakfast (white bread) and a high-GI lunch (mashed potatoes with meatballs). On one day, the breakfast and lunch meals were supplemented with whey.
“The insulin responses were higher after both breakfast (31 percent) and lunch (57 percent) when whey was included in the meal than when whey was not included,” write the researchers.
—American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2005
Food editor’s note: Whey protein is one of two proteins found in cow’s milk. In order to get the benefits of whey protein, a concentrated source is necessary, because milk contains only 1 percent whey protein. Whey protein is available in powder form that can be added to foods and drinks, and in powdered and liquid protein beverages such as smoothies. Whey protein is added to foods such as protein bars, meal replacement products and some desserts. The Whey Protein Institute provides complete information at their Web site, www.WheyOfLife.org.