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These plant-based proteins help control appetite

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A new study has found interesting findings particularly for people who need careful monitoring of glucose levels.

In diabetes, the body cannot maintain normal blood sugar levels, so many of the treatment guidelines focus on dietary patterns. 

People who need this type of control, carbohydrates can cause sugar spikes; however, the proteins take longer to digest than sugar and are healthier for people with these conditions.

To maintain good health without starving or thirsty between meals, consuming protein shakes is often a dietary option for many people. 

Consumer trends in protein intake are on the rise with derivatives of milk protein, such as whey, which is widely used in consumer products such as protein shakes, fortified foods and beverages. 

These products have many properties that make them ideal, such as their amino acid content, lowering triglycerides, they are satiating and can help regulate insulin, among others.

Whey or vegetable protein, which is better?

Are Vegetable Protein Shakes Better Than Whey For Blood Sugar Control? 

This question has been answered by the Center for Nutraceuticals at the University of Westminster, which after research has suggested that potato and rice protein shakes may be a viable vegan alternative to whey protein shakes, particularly for people who need careful monitoring of blood glucose levels.

Published in the magazine ‘Nutrients’, it is the first work to show that potato and rice proteins can be just as effective in controlling appetite and can help better control blood glucose levels and reduce insulin spikes in comparison with whey protein.

During the study, participants’ blood metabolic response was measured after drinking potato, rice, and whey protein shakes. Appetite was also monitored for the next three hours to understand how these drinks can affect participants’ hunger and desire to eat.

The research observed that vegan protein shakes led to a lower rise in blood insulin compared to whey, while potato protein prevented any rise in insulin. 

“This may explain the better blood glucose control after consumption of plant-based protein, and raises the question of whether vegan protein shakes are more suitable for those who need to control their blood glucose levels, such as diabetics. and obese,” specify the researchers.

Interestingly, the release of the key appetite-regulating hormone GLP-1 was higher after drinking the whey protein shake. However, the higher GLP-1 response did not translate into a greater feeling of satiety, as no differences in appetite perception were observed between the three different protein shakes.

Other protein products

There are alternative protein products available for vegetarians and vegans, such as soy, rice, wheat and pea proteins, but there is a relative lack of evidence on their health benefits compared to milk proteins. 

Potato protein is a new protein product of plant origin that is obtained from the waste material of the production of its starch and is an economical and sustainable source of protein. This study provides the first evidence to suggest that it may be an alternative to whey protein sources.

“However, research is still lacking in this area and it would be interesting to clarify whether plant-based proteins can provide benefits for metabolic health identical to those of traditional sources such as milk,” says Professor M Gulrez Zariwala, the corresponding author and director of the Center for Nutraceuticals at the University of Westminster.

They conclude: “Our results shed new light in this area and improve our understanding of how plant-based proteins can be a more sustainable but nutritionally beneficial food source. We plan to conduct follow-up studies to investigate further in this exciting area.”

Image Credit: Getty

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