Study: Consuming Milk at Breakfast Lowers Blood Glucose Throughout the Day

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By : dLife Editors

A change in breakfast routine may provide benefits for the management of Type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Guelph in collaboration with the University of Toronto examined the effects of consuming high-protein milk at breakfast on blood glucose levels and satiety after breakfast and after a second meal.

They found that milk consumed with breakfast cereal reduced postprandial blood glucose concentration compared with water, and high dairy protein concentration reduced postprandial blood glucose concentration compared with normal dairy protein concentration.

The high-protein treatment also reduced appetite after the second meal compared with the low-protein equivalent.

“Metabolic diseases are on the rise globally, with Type 2 diabetes and obesity as leading concerns in human health,” Dr. H. Douglas Goff and team said in a press release.

“Thus, there is an impetus to develop dietary strategies for the risk reduction and management of obesity and diabetes to empower consumers to improve their personal health,” he adds.

In this randomized, controlled, double-blinded study, the team examined the effects of increasing protein concentration and increasing the proportion of whey protein in milk consumed with a high-carbohydrate breakfast cereal on blood glucose, feelings of satiety, and food consumption later in the day.

Digestion of the whey and casein proteins naturally present in milk releases gastric hormones that slow digestion, increasing feelings of fullness. Digestion of whey proteins achieves this effect more quickly, whereas casein proteins provide a longer lasting effect.

Study Limitations

Although the team only found a modest difference in food consumption at the lunch meal when increasing whey protein at breakfast, they did find that milk consumed with a high-carbohydrate breakfast reduced blood glucose even after lunch, and high-protein milk had a greater effect.

Milk with an increased proportion of whey protein had a modest effect on pre-lunch blood glucose, achieving a greater decrease than that provided by regular milk.

There are critics of the study who warn the study is being pushed by the dairy industry.

The study has been published in the Journal of Dairy Science which is owned by The American Dairy Science Association (ADSA).

According to the ADSA website, it is “an international organization of educators, scientists, and industry representatives who are committed to advancing the dairy industry and keenly aware of the vital role the dairy sciences play in fulfilling the economic, nutritive, and health requirements of the world’s population.”

Also, a recent Healthline article, reports there is a dairy industry connection to the research, and consumers should be aware of that before making any decisions about having milk and cereal for breakfast.

“This research is motivated by trying to increase dairy and cereal sales, and is confusing to someone who is innocently trying to follow recommendations to improve their diabetes,” Kelly Schmidt, RD, LDN told Healthline.

However, the ASDA claims it is not owned or controlled by the dairy industry in an email to Healthline.

Those with diabetes should follow the dietary guidelines provided by their healthcare providers and diabetes educators before making any changes to their diet.