On Monday, I showed you how to lose weight by drinking more water. But there’s more you can do to drop the pounds, especially if you’re a diabetic.
You may have heard the dietary advice to eat “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.” It turns out that if you have type-2 diabetes, this is really great advice – as long as you’re eating the right type of breakfast.
Researchers at Tel Aviv University recently found evidence that eating the right types of meals throughout the day can have a significant effect on weight loss. It also can help with satiety, glucose spikes, and HbA1C levels.
As you may have guessed from “breakfast like a king,” breakfast should be the highest-calorie meal of the day. But it should be high in something else as well: protein. And the researchers found that not just any type of protein was beneficial. They found that whey protein powder had the most benefits for participants following this diet approach. It was even more beneficial than my favorite cheese, egg, and sausage casserole.
Whey protein is a byproduct of the cheese-making process, and it's typically sold in powder form. You can easily add it to smoothies or even mixed into batter. It promotes satiety and reduces glucose spikes following meals even better than eggs, soy, and tuna.
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For this study, the researchers divided 48 participants into three diet groups. All of the participants were overweight or obese, and all had type-2 diabetes. They followed their diet plans for 23 months, all eating large breakfasts, medium-sized lunches, and small dinners with the same number of calories consumed over the course of the day. However, the groups differed in breakfast composition and the amount and source of protein they were eating. One group’s breakfasts consisted mostly of whey protein, typically in the form of shakes. The second group ate eggs, soy, and tuna for breakfast, while the third started the day with carbohydrates or starchy foods.
After just 12 weeks, the whey protein group had lost over 16 pounds on average, compared to 13.4 and 6.8 pounds for groups two and three, respectively. The whey protein group also reported more satiety and less hunger during the day than the other two groups did. And their HbA1C levels went down the most.
The researchers believe that many of these effects can be attributed to whey protein’s ability to suppress the hunger hormone ghrelin. I think it might also be because whey delivers a lot of protein for fewer calories than many other sources. So you can get more bang for your buck if you’re on a calorie-restricted diet.
My favorite brand of whey protein powder comes from Advanced Bionutritionals. Unlike other brands, it comes from grass-fed cows and is ultra-filtered to remove impurities. You’ll get 15 grams of protein per serving with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners. It’s an easy, efficient way to boost the protein in your diet, whether you’re diabetic or not.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD