Change in breakfast routine could benefit diabetics

Consuming milk at breakfast compared to water reduced blood glucose levels after eating, which may provide benefits in the management of type 2 diabetes

According to a new study published in the Journal of Diary Science, milk consumed with breakfast cereal reduced blood glucose concentrations after the meal, when compared to water.

"Metabolic diseases are on the rise globally, with type 2 diabetes and obesity as leading concerns in human health," said Dr Douglas Goff, lead author of the group at the University of Guelph. "Thus, there is impetus to develop dietary strategies for the risk reduction and management of obesity and diabetes to empower consumers to improve their personal health."

The effects of increasing protein concentration and increasing the proportion of whey protein in milk consumed with a high-carbohydrate breakfast cereal on blood glucose, feelings of satiety, and food consumption later in the day, were examined in the study.

Digestion of whey and casein proteins, naturally present in milk, releases gastric hormones that slow digestion, increasing feelings of fullness. Digestion of whey proteins achieves this effect more quickly, whereas casein proteins provided a longer lasting effect.

Although the team only found a modest difference in food consumption after eating lunch when increasing whey protein at breakfast, they did find that milk consumed with a high-carbohydrate breakfast reduced blood glucose even after lunch, and high-protein milk had a greater effect.

Milk with an increased proportion of whey protein had a modest effect on pre lunch blood glucose, achieving a greater decrease than that provided by regular milk.

The abstract of the study concluded: "High-carbohydrate breakfast meals with increased protein concentration could be a dietary strategy for the attenuation of blood glucose and improved satiety ratings after the second meal."

Dr Goff said: "This study confirms the importance of milk at breakfast time to aid in the slower digestion of carbohydrate and to help maintain lower blood sugar levels. Nutritionists have always stressed the importance of a healthy breakfast, and this study should encourage consumers to include milk."


  1. B. Kung, et al. "Effect of milk protein intake and casein-to-whey ratio in breakfast meals on postprandial glucose, satiety ratings, and subsequent meal intake." Journal of Dairy Science (2018).