The blood metabolic response of participants is measured after drinking potato, rice and whey protein shakes. Appetite is also monitored in the following three hours to understand how these drinks may affect the participants’ hunger and their desire to eat.
The researchers observed that vegan protein shakes led to a lower rise in blood insulin compared to whey, while potato protein prevented any rise in insulin.
For better blood glucose control, plant-based protein shakes are more suitable for individuals who need to need control their blood glucose levels such as diabetic and obese individuals.
The release of increased key appetite regulating hormone GLP-1 after drinking the whey protein shake did not translate to an increased feeling of fullness as there were no differences observed in appetite perception between the three different protein shakes.
This study provides the first evidence to suggest that Potato protein, a novel plant-based sustainable economic protein source obtained from the waste material from potato starch production as an alternative to whey protein sources.
Professor M Gulrez Zariwala, corresponding author and Director of the Centre for Nutraceuticals at the University of Westminster, said: “Global concerns on sustainability have led to consumer shifts towards ethical eating and a change in dietary habits with increased adoption of vegetarian and vegan diets.
Research in this area is still lacking to clarify whether proteins from plant sources can provide identical metabolic health benefits as those with traditional sources such as milk.
Though this study sheds new light in this area to improve our understanding of how plant source proteins can be a more sustainable, follow-up studies should be conducted for further research in this exciting area.