A new Endocrine Society study by researchers from Tel Aviv University showed that a diet high in whey protein outperformed two other isocaloric diets (one high in non-whey protein and one high in complex carbohydrates) for weight loss and long-term glucose control among patients with type 2 diabetes. According to lead researcher Daniela Jakubowicz, consuming a high-protein breakfast, medium lunch and a small dinner clearly demonstrates success for weight loss; however, their new study has shown that following the same dietary protocol with whey is more efficient and has a more powerful effect on reducing hyperglycemia following meals.
For the investigation, 48 type 2 diabetics were randomized into one of three isocaloric diet groups for a total of 12 weeks. Each of the three diets consisted of three meals per day - including about 660 calories for breakfast, 560 calories for lunch and 280 calories for dinner. The lunch and dinner contents were identical between the diets, but the breakfast contents varied greatly. The whey group (17 subjects) consumed 42g of protein in the form of a shake; the non-whey protein group (16 subjects) also consumed 42g protein in whole form, while the carbohydrate group (15 subjects) only consumed 17g of protein. Jakubowicz reinforced the importance of the fact that the breakfast meal has to be relatively large and include ample protein to increase metabolism and decrease overall hunger throughout the day for weight loss results.
After the 12 week period, the participants in the whey protein diet group lost an average of 7.6 kg, had HbA1c levels (indicates blood sugar regulation) lowered from 7.8 to 6.9, and a peak glucose level of 174 mg/dL. Those in the other protein group only lost an average of 6.1 kg, experienced lesser reductions in HbA1c (7.1), and demonstrated a higher peak glucose of 206 mg/dL. Those in the whey group also experienced greater satiety after each meal. As expected, both high-protein diets performed better than the high-carbohydrate diet. The study shows that simply incorporating more whey protein into the diet may be effective for expediting relatively greater weight loss and improved blood glucose regulation, especially amongst type 2 diabetics.