Whey protein plus fiber enhances fat burning and fullness

Whey protein has been shown to have positive effects on satiety and fat oxidation. Fiber has also received a lot of attention recently because of its potential to aid weight control. Resistant starch (a source of fiber) is a carbohydrate that does not get digested and absorbed by the gut.

For the first time, the combination of whey and resistant starch were examined in 70 women. On four different days they consumed a pancake breakfast made with (1) 45g of regular starch (waxy maize); (2) 45g of regular starch and 20g of whey protein; (3) 40g of resistant starch; and (4) 40g of resistant starch and 20g of whey protein.

All meals had approximately 400 kcal. All the meals resulted in an increase in energy expenditure during the 3-hour period after ingestion with no differences between the groups. However, the regular starch meals resulted in significantly less fat burning compared to the resistant starch meals. The combination of resistant starch and whey resulted in the highest rate of fat burning over 3 hours. It was also associated with lower blood sugar and higher levels of satiety hormones. The protein containing meals, regardless of whether it was combined with regular starch or resistant starch, resulted in lower ratings of hunger, amount of food to be eaten, and desire to eat while feelings of fullness were higher.

These results confirm that whey protein is associated with greater fat oxidation and satiety and that it can be combined with resistant starch to augment the effects further. I would expect other fibers such as psyllium, bran, chia seeds and glucomannan to have a similar effect as the resistant starch.

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