Whey protein, which is nutrient dense, is found in many weight
loss and meal replacement products. While portion control, fat-
free, sugar-free and reduced calorie approaches to weight loss
have been around for a while, trends today suggest eating foods
that promote satiety or a feeling of fullness. Hence the recommen-
dation to eat protein and fiber rich meals. Whey protein works
similarly even though it is easily digested and efficiently absorbed
by the body. Leaving us feeling full, it keeps us from reaching for
that extra helping at meals. Research finds that compared to the
protein casein, which is found in cow’s milk, whey protein wins
when it comes to providing a feeling of fullness.
“The body uses more energy to digest protein than other foods
(thermic effect) and consequently allows the body to burn more
calories after a protein meal. Further, protein helps to stabilize
blood glucose levels by slowing the absorption of glucose into
the bloodstream. This in turn reduces hunger by lowering insu-
lin levels and making it easier for the body to burn fat,” according
to the Whey Protein Institute. “Whey protein also contains
bioactive components which stimulate the release of two appetite-
suppressing hormones: cholecystokinin (CCK) and glucagon-like
“An individual who exercises has greater caloric needs in a day.
Whey protein can be an easy way to bulk up smoothies, shakes,
or oatmeal with those extra calories. I’ve had a client who had
very little leisure time in a day, and spent that time exercising.
He wasn’t trying to lose weight, just maintain it, and wasn’t
much of a snacker,” says Ahmad. “I recommended he add whey
protein to his oatmeal or have a shake with breakfast because it
is a quick way to get in those extra calories he needed on days
he was working out.” However, if you lead a sedentary lifestyle,
consuming whey protein will provide satiety but it will also pack
on the pounds.
NOT ALL PROTEINS ARE CREATED EQUAL
Jay R. Hoffman and Michael J. Falvo represented the Department
of Health and Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey,
Ewing, New Jersey, at the International Society of Sports
Nutrition Symposium, in 2005. Comparing the biological value
of various proteins, they ranked whey protein even higher than
eggs, milk or beef.
Reading labels is part and parcel of the halal consumer’s grocery
shopping experience in the West. That practice is important to
determine if a product has an acceptable amount of whey protein
and/or whey protein isolate. The more there is of an ingredient,
the closer it is to being listed at the beginning of the nutrition
label. For whey protein beverages, either Whey Protein Isolate
or Whey Protein Concentrate should appear first on the labels.
Whey protein isolate ranks highest for being easily digested and
retained by your body.
If you are lactose intolerant, whey protein concentrate may not be
for you. Many whey protein bars and beverages such as smoothies
also contain gluten. Again, as in almost every diet related decision,
do ask a registered dietician for professional advice.
ABOUT THE WRITER:
Naazish YarKhan is Director, Content
Strategy at IFANCA and contributing writer for numerous media
internationally including NPR, Aramco World magazine, Huffington
Post and Common Ground News Service.
Davisco Foods International
While portion control, fat-free, sugar-free
and reduced calorie approaches to weight
loss have been around for a while, trends
today suggest eating foods that promote
satiety or a feeling of fullness. Hence the
recommendation to eat protein and fiber