New research shows that whey protein can give you an extra edge if you’re trying to lose weight.
Can a little whey help you weigh less?
Protein is great for dieters—compared to
carbohydrates and fat, it keeps you feeling fuller longer. Now new research published in the Journal of Nutrition
shows that the protein in dairy may give you an extra edge if you’re looking to get leaner.
When researchers fed two groups of mice a high-fat diet for 11 weeks, the mice that got water spiked with whey protein (a
type of protein found naturally in dairy) packed on 42 percent less weight and nearly a third less body fat than the mice who
just drank plain water, despite the fact that they ate roughly the same number of calories. What’s more, the whey eaters also
gained 7 percent more lean body mass.
Howard Shertzer, Ph.D., the study’s lead researcher and a professor of molecular toxicology at the University of Cincinnati
Medical Center, hypothesizes that whey protein is beneficial because its unique combination of amino acids (protein building
blocks) may block fat from being metabolized and so prevent some fat from being stored and weight gained. The extra amino
acids also helped build muscle.
To incorporate whey protein into your diet in an amount equivalent to what the mice got, you’d likely have to take a
supplement (such as protein powders or whey-based protein bars). To get some whey protein naturally, go with ricotta, milk
and yogurt, all good sources.—Karen Ansel, M.S., R.D.