Breakfast is known to play an essential role in management of blood sugar levels, which is an important factor in managing type 2 diabetes. Since the pancreas cannot product enough insulin, a person with type 2 diabetes has to seek alternative means to control their blood sugar levels. Certain dietary items cause levels to spike while others can keep them in check, including a certain breakfast staple, according to research. A new study singles out a particularly important component — milk.
Consuming milk at breakfast lowers blood glucose throughout the day, reveals a study published in the Journal of Dairy Science.
Douglas Goff, PhD, and the team of scientists from the Human Nutraceutical Research Unit 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.
Milk consumed with breakfast cereal reduced postprandial blood glucose concentration compared with water, while high dairy protein concentration reduced it 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 leading concerns in human health,” Dr Goff and team said. They added, “Thus, there is impetus to develop dietary strategies for risk reduction and management of obesity and diabetes to empower consumers to improve their personal health.”
In this randomised, 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 the feeling of fullness. Digestion of whey proteins achieves this effect more quickly, whereas casein proteins provide a longer lasting effect.
Although the team only found a modest difference in food consumption during lunch 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.
According to Dr Goff and his colleagues, “This study confirms the importance of milk at breakfast time to aid in the slower digestion of carbohydrates and to help maintain lower blood sugar levels. Nutritionists have always stressed the importance of a healthy breakfast, and this study should encourage consumers to include milk.”