Study: Drinking milk at breakfast better manages blood glucose

Aug. 20 (UPI) — Milk, especially high-dairy protein types, consumed with breakfast cereal reduced blood glucose concentration compared with water, according to a new study.

Researchers at University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, studied the effects of the sugar levels after an oat-based breakfast and after a second meal of pizza. The findings were published Sunday in the Journal of Dairy Science.

They found whey protein concentration was more effective than normal dairy protein concentration. It reduced appetite after the second meal compared with the low-protein equivalent.

“This study confirms the importance of milk at breakfast time to aid in the slower digestion of carbohydrate and to help maintain lower blood sugar levels,” Dr. H. Douglas Goff of the Human Nutraceutical Research Unit at Guelph said in a press release. “Nutritionists have always stressed the importance of a healthy breakfast, and this study should encourage consumers to include milk.”

They studied 32 participants with a mean age of 23 and a body mass index of 22.2.

The researchers examined the effects of increasing protein concentration in milk consumed with a high-carbohydrate breakfast cereal on blood glucose, feelings of satiety, as well as food consumption later in the day.

Because digestion of whey and casein proteins releases gastric hormones that slow digestion, there are increased feelings of fullness. Whey proteins achieves this effect more quickly and casein proteins provide a longer-lasting effect.

The researchers found only a modest difference in food consumption at the lunch meal despite increasing whey protein at breakfast. But they found that milk consumed with a high-carbohydrate breakfast reduced blood glucose even after lunch, and high-protein milk even more so.

“Metabolic diseases are on the rise globally, with type 2 diabetes and obesity as leading concerns in human health,” Goff said. “Thus, there is impetus to develop dietary strategies for the risk reduction and management of obesity and diabetes to empower consumers to improve their personal health.”

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