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Whey protein helps you feel full

Several studies have shown that diets higher in whey protein are associated with greater weight and fat loss. This may in part be due to consumption of fewer calories as a result of a whey’s impact on satiety.

Satiety is the feeling of fullness or satisfaction after a meal. In attempt to provide clues as to how whey might affect satiety, researchers specifically tested its effects on satiety and several hormones known to influence appetite. Participants were healthy normal-weight women who came to the lab on two occasions. Each time they consumed a test drink containing 327 kcal. On one visit, the test drink consisted of almost all carbohydrate. On the other visit, some of the carbohydrates were replaced with 45 grams of whey protein. Blood was taken over the next 2 hours and subjects were told to consume a meal consisting of a mixed rice dish. Interestingly, when subjects consumed the whey drink, they consumed significantly less food 2 hours later.

On average, the carbohydrate group consumed slightly more than 100 additional kcal’s compared to the whey group. Several amino acids and gastrointestinal hormones that are associated with satiety were elevated to a greater extent after the whey drink. These included cholecystokinin, glucagon-like peptide-1, peptide tyrosine–tyrosine, and pancreatic polypeptide.

The key takeaway from this work is that whey protein promotes greater satiety than carbohydrate, which is consistent with the growing body of work implicating whey as a healthy protein source to include in diets aimed at weight management.

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