Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet, eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider, who sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
It would appear that little Miss Muffet was on a whey protein diet.
Whey Protein is a protein made from milk. Milk is high in protein. Milk also contains some elements not particularly useful to dieters, like milk fat and lactose sugars.
First, the milk is curdled. This is a common process, and all cheese, yogurt and sour cream begins with curdled milk. Further into the cheese making process, the curds are removed to compress into cheese. What is left is a watery whey protein liquid. The liquid is placed in a centrifuge where the fats and whey are separated. When the whey protein is all that is left, it is transformed into powder by drying.
The result is a very rich protein powder. A few generations ago, the good old egg was thought to be top of the biologically useful protein chart. But when scientists started to look at whey, they found it easily beat the egg. The protein absorption scale which previously had the egg at 100, now had to be adjusted to allow for whey concentrate at 104 and whey isolates over 110 up to 159. So whey isolate protein has the potential to be 50% more biologically useful than egg protein.
What does this mean for the whey protein diet? To begin with it is a meal substitution diet. Breakfast and lunchtime meals are replaced with a whey protein shake. The shake itself is whey powder mixed with skim milk or water. The protein shake has 20 grams of protein, and yet very little carbohydrates or fats. A serving of whey powder has roughly 120 calories. Mix it with skim milk for another 80 calories, and you have grand total calorie count of about 200. You end up getting the very high 20 grams of protein in a 200 calorie shake. You feel full, but your overall calorie intake was lower than if you had eaten a normal breakfast or lunch.
Re-Published: The Protein Lab
Author: Dan Smith