3

votes

Is Whey Healthy?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 18, 2011 at 4:38 AM

Simple question. Let's review the pros and cons. It would be nice to include it in the paleo diet since its so convenient. Some authors say yes, some say no since it causes insulin and is not a natural food (derived from milk).

There are a bunch of questions on whey... but none as simple as Yes or No... is whey healthy and suitable to include in a modern paleo diet?

Medium avatar

on November 18, 2011
at 07:13 PM

I agree that Mercola isnt always right with his recommendations but in this case I agree with him on the health benefits of whey, even though he's trying to sell his product. I used his website because I knew he had some good research on whey but you can find other websites to corroborate it. Thanks for the recommendation I'll check it out. I did mention the benefits of whey, but I felt it was necessary to point out that many brands put junk in it, cause not everyone is looking for that, especially outside the paleo community.

Medium avatar

on November 18, 2011
at 07:10 PM

I agree that many processed foods have hidden MSG as you referenced, but I don't think the amount in whey is enough to cause problems, especially since it's balanced with all the other amino acids whereas in other processed products it's not. I don't see how there could be so many studies showing the benefits of whey if it has high levels of an excitotoxin like msg (see discussion here http://forum.lef.org/default.aspx?f=35&m=15741). Do you have a link to back up your claim? I'm talking about natural whey products though, not ones that have msg and other artificial things added for flavor

D3f3b91d1dd9ce60865654faeb2ec809

on November 18, 2011
at 06:09 PM

OP's asking about whey, not the additives some crappy brands package it with.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on November 18, 2011
at 05:36 PM

http://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources_printable.pdf http://www.campbellsoup.com/Products/Condensed/All Campbell Soups is in trouble for hiding MSG. Read this new label they are required to use: ""Introducing new Campbell's® Select Harvest™ soups, made with delicious ingredients like farm-grown vegetables, wholesome grains and 100% natural white meat chicken — with no artificial flavors or MSG*.... " * Except for the small amount naturally occurring in yeast extract."

33907fee54e98865a1988e5eef59147e

(480)

on November 18, 2011
at 05:26 PM

People do seem to indicate more negative reactions to it than positive. Do you have any links for this? im pretty into health/diet but havent read on MSG/glutamic acid/whey

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on November 18, 2011
at 05:25 PM

I'll bet your 'MSG free' Whey Protein really says "No MSG Added". Am I wrong?

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on November 18, 2011
at 05:23 PM

You guys should get smart on Free Glutamic Acid. When it's unbound from it's protein it's, well, MSG. Whey protein is one of the most highly processed foods you can put in your body. If you are into processed foods, OK, have a scoop of whey protein mixed with your Kraft Mac and Cheese, but if you are not--don't eat the crap. It all has high levels of free glutamic acid. It's basically MSG in it's purist form...that's what I'm talkin' about.

368568eb91f1b58d2f52c9c566d331b5

(182)

on November 18, 2011
at 03:37 PM

This isn't the first time I've heard someone say that whey contains excitotoxins - but I've yet to see anyone back it up.

368568eb91f1b58d2f52c9c566d331b5

(182)

on November 18, 2011
at 03:35 PM

I third the bluebonnet recommendation. Also, Mercola is not to be trusted imo. He is as bad as Weil and Oz - just wants to sell you something.

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on November 18, 2011
at 03:16 PM

I take Bluebonnet Whey Isolate. Here's the link to it at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Whey-Protein-Isolate-Original-Powder/dp/B001FE2FMQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t It was recommended to me by some Paleo folks so long ago that I forget the reason.(Sorry.) I love the stuff!

33907fee54e98865a1988e5eef59147e

(480)

on November 18, 2011
at 02:41 PM

i got the reference actually, but meant was it prompted by Akman's short answer

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on November 18, 2011
at 12:31 PM

Actual "whole food" whey wasn't discovered only 25 years ago. It's a byproduct of making cheese and has been used to lacto-ferment other foods for thousands and thousands of years. However, I suspect the OP is talking about the highly processed, powdered supplement--in which case I agree. It seems completely contrary to even the most loose paleo principles to think of something that highly processed as food.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 18, 2011
at 12:20 PM

What's the point of eating Paleo at all if you're still going to eat "food" (or whatever whey is classified as) that was discovered only 25 years ago? It is the furthest thing from food, just eat more meat.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 18, 2011
at 12:16 PM

What's the point of eating Paleo if you still eat food that comes out of a giant ziploc bag? Might as well just stick to Atkins.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on November 18, 2011
at 11:49 AM

May I recommend Bluebonnet, if you can get it? It's from 100% grass-fed cows, and no MSG, sugar, etc.

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on November 18, 2011
at 11:17 AM

Haha, I'm a Brit & even get the Different Strokes reference ;-)

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on November 18, 2011
at 06:09 AM

@Chase - an old TV show. Garry Coleman from Different Strokes.

25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on November 18, 2011
at 05:56 AM

?????????????????????

33907fee54e98865a1988e5eef59147e

(480)

on November 18, 2011
at 05:51 AM

what is this???

33907fee54e98865a1988e5eef59147e

(480)

on November 18, 2011
at 05:50 AM

whats that a reference to?

D3f3b91d1dd9ce60865654faeb2ec809

on November 18, 2011
at 05:38 AM

Whatchyou talkin' 'bout, Willis?

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10 Answers

2
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on November 18, 2011
at 04:32 PM

I watched this last night, and it aggravated me a bit because she didn't talk about diet at all:

Cynthia Kenyon on experiments that hint of longer lives

So, if you watch that, you'll see that there is this relationship between insulin, IGF-1 and ageing. The upshot being, if you don't want to age, you probably don't want to eat whey.

The other side of the coin- do you want to gain some muscle? Whey protein seems to help a lot with gaining muscle. It would likely be easier to keep the muscle, once you gain it, while dropping whey. Milk is for growing; meat is for maintaining? One could theoretically turn on the growth for a few weeks, and then spend the rest of the year in an age defying mode.

The video left me thinking maybe I should read Nora Gedgaudas' book, because if I remember her AHS talk correctly, she's not only mentioned low-carb, but less protein, which is exactly what Cynthia Kenyon would have talked about if she wasn't funded by drug pushers.

2
Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

on November 18, 2011
at 10:16 AM

Not sure if this helps:

From a university study:

  1. J Nutr. 2004 Jun;134(6):1454-8.

A high-whey-protein diet reduces body weight gain and alters insulin sensitivity relative to red meat in wistar rats.

Belobrajdic DP, McIntosh GH, Owens JA.

Discipline of Physiology, School of Molecular and Biomedical Science, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, 5000, Australia. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization Health Sciences and Nutrition, Adelaide, SA, 5000, Australia.

A high-protein diet can reduce body weight and increase insulin sensitivity, but whether the type of dietary protein affects these outcomes is unknown. We hypothesized that feeding insulin-resistant rats a high-protein diet (32%) containing whey protein concentrate (WPC) would reduce body weight and tissue lipid levels and increase insulin sensitivity more than a diet containing red meat (RM). Rats were fed a high-fat diet (300 g fat/kg diet) for 9 wk, then switched to a diet containing either 80 or 320 g protein/kg diet, provided by either WPC or RM, for 6 wk (n = 8). The rats were then killed after overnight food deprivation. High dietary protein reduced energy intake (P < 0.001) and visceral (P < 0.001), subcutaneous (P < 0.001), and carcass fat (P < 0.05). Increasing the dietary density of WPC, but not of RM, reduced body weight gain by 4% (P < 0.001). Dietary WPC also reduced plasma insulin concentration by 40% (P < 0.05) and increased insulin sensitivity, compared to RM (P < 0.05). These findings support the conclusions that a high-protein diet reduces energy intake and adiposity and that whey protein is more effective than red meat in reducing body weight gain and increasing insulin sensitivity.>

2
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 18, 2011
at 08:39 AM

It depends. I get very very bad acne from it, even if I eat a paleo diet apart from the whey. I believe whey is the whole reason why I started to go paleo.

1
D3f3b91d1dd9ce60865654faeb2ec809

on November 18, 2011
at 04:42 PM

For those of us lifting weights, we need a quick pre-workout source of easily metabolized protein. I've found, when I'm out of BCAA pills, ~40g. of whey protein to be perfect.

1
7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on November 18, 2011
at 04:38 PM

I'm not into paleo re-enactment, so for me, the question is whether something will help or hurt me re my specific goals. In general, the less processed the better, especially since you're putting your trust that the corporation doing the processing has your health in mind along with their other motivations ($$).

But there are plenty of foods that PHers like that are processed ... Artisana coconut butter doesn't come off the tree that way!

Me, I love Primal Fuel, cocoa, and cinnamon mixed into greek yogurt (tastes like chocolate cheesecake mousse ... yum!). But someone pointed out here that dairy is really meant to support growth, which makes a lot of sense when you think about it. So since my goal is weight loss, I try and keep dairy (other than butter) to an occasional thing. I think if you're into gains, it's another question entirely.

1
25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on November 18, 2011
at 05:11 AM

YES. Will Brink has some nice articles on whey http://www.brinkzone.com/?s=whey .

0
4359ded83fc58bdcf7f825a49d4e2bc8

on November 18, 2011
at 09:35 AM

I don't have an answer to the question but have been wondering about alternatives to Whey like Pea, Egg and Hemp proteins. I use MyProtein.com in the UK: any thoughts on the following products?

http://www.myprotein.com/uk/products/pea_protein_isolate http://www.myprotein.com/uk/products/organic_hemp_protein http://www.myprotein.com/uk/products/egg_white_powder

Cheers

0
25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on November 18, 2011
at 05:37 AM

?????????????????????

33907fee54e98865a1988e5eef59147e

(480)

on November 18, 2011
at 05:51 AM

what is this???

-1
Medium avatar

on November 18, 2011
at 06:13 AM

Depends on the product you buy. Most whey protein isolates or concentrates have artificial sweeteners or MSG which cause all kinds of problems so make sure to find one that has nothing artificial, I've found a few out there. It is natural in the sense that it's found in milk, just not in isolation. It depends on your activity levels as well. I don't think its effects on insulin matter if you take it after an intense workout since exercise increases insulin sensitivity. It also depends on whether you have whey from raw milk or not, since there is some changing of the proteins from pasteurization denaturing them, although this whey is prohibitively expensive for most people. There are a lot of studies on whey showing a range of health benefits, http://proteinpowder.mercola.com/Miracle-Whey-Protein.html I would say the three main benefits it gives are because of its high amounts of branched-chain amino acids for your muscles, high amounts of amino acids that increase glutathione production, and significant amounts of immunoglobulins and other molecules that have been shown to boost the immune system. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/23/ori-hofmekler-on-whey-protein.aspx

368568eb91f1b58d2f52c9c566d331b5

(182)

on November 18, 2011
at 03:35 PM

I third the bluebonnet recommendation. Also, Mercola is not to be trusted imo. He is as bad as Weil and Oz - just wants to sell you something.

Medium avatar

on November 18, 2011
at 07:13 PM

I agree that Mercola isnt always right with his recommendations but in this case I agree with him on the health benefits of whey, even though he's trying to sell his product. I used his website because I knew he had some good research on whey but you can find other websites to corroborate it. Thanks for the recommendation I'll check it out. I did mention the benefits of whey, but I felt it was necessary to point out that many brands put junk in it, cause not everyone is looking for that, especially outside the paleo community.

D3f3b91d1dd9ce60865654faeb2ec809

on November 18, 2011
at 06:09 PM

OP's asking about whey, not the additives some crappy brands package it with.

F44b15b2fd1ad134200793d6b474fc4c

(938)

on November 18, 2011
at 03:16 PM

I take Bluebonnet Whey Isolate. Here's the link to it at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Whey-Protein-Isolate-Original-Powder/dp/B001FE2FMQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t It was recommended to me by some Paleo folks so long ago that I forget the reason.(Sorry.) I love the stuff!

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on November 18, 2011
at 11:49 AM

May I recommend Bluebonnet, if you can get it? It's from 100% grass-fed cows, and no MSG, sugar, etc.

-3
3f991b9d02d2c9b8bd91f93fdd88febc

on November 18, 2011
at 05:35 AM

No. MSG in it.

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on November 18, 2011
at 11:17 AM

Haha, I'm a Brit & even get the Different Strokes reference ;-)

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on November 18, 2011
at 05:25 PM

I'll bet your 'MSG free' Whey Protein really says "No MSG Added". Am I wrong?

25b139cc1954456d9ea469e40f984cd3

on November 18, 2011
at 05:56 AM

?????????????????????

33907fee54e98865a1988e5eef59147e

(480)

on November 18, 2011
at 02:41 PM

i got the reference actually, but meant was it prompted by Akman's short answer

33907fee54e98865a1988e5eef59147e

(480)

on November 18, 2011
at 05:50 AM

whats that a reference to?

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on November 18, 2011
at 06:09 AM

@Chase - an old TV show. Garry Coleman from Different Strokes.

D3f3b91d1dd9ce60865654faeb2ec809

on November 18, 2011
at 05:38 AM

Whatchyou talkin' 'bout, Willis?

33907fee54e98865a1988e5eef59147e

(480)

on November 18, 2011
at 05:26 PM

People do seem to indicate more negative reactions to it than positive. Do you have any links for this? im pretty into health/diet but havent read on MSG/glutamic acid/whey

368568eb91f1b58d2f52c9c566d331b5

(182)

on November 18, 2011
at 03:37 PM

This isn't the first time I've heard someone say that whey contains excitotoxins - but I've yet to see anyone back it up.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on November 18, 2011
at 05:36 PM

http://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources_printable.pdf http://www.campbellsoup.com/Products/Condensed/All Campbell Soups is in trouble for hiding MSG. Read this new label they are required to use: ""Introducing new Campbell's® Select Harvest™ soups, made with delicious ingredients like farm-grown vegetables, wholesome grains and 100% natural white meat chicken — with no artificial flavors or MSG*.... " * Except for the small amount naturally occurring in yeast extract."

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on November 18, 2011
at 05:23 PM

You guys should get smart on Free Glutamic Acid. When it's unbound from it's protein it's, well, MSG. Whey protein is one of the most highly processed foods you can put in your body. If you are into processed foods, OK, have a scoop of whey protein mixed with your Kraft Mac and Cheese, but if you are not--don't eat the crap. It all has high levels of free glutamic acid. It's basically MSG in it's purist form...that's what I'm talkin' about.

Medium avatar

on November 18, 2011
at 07:10 PM

I agree that many processed foods have hidden MSG as you referenced, but I don't think the amount in whey is enough to cause problems, especially since it's balanced with all the other amino acids whereas in other processed products it's not. I don't see how there could be so many studies showing the benefits of whey if it has high levels of an excitotoxin like msg (see discussion here http://forum.lef.org/default.aspx?f=35&m=15741). Do you have a link to back up your claim? I'm talking about natural whey products though, not ones that have msg and other artificial things added for flavor

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