A recent study published in the Journal of Dairy Science encourages people with type 2 diabetes to add cow’s milk to their cereal for better blood sugar control.However, a deeper look into both the funding behind the study and the real impact of cereal on blood sugar raises a number of questions.“Metabolic diseases are on the rise globally,” explained H. Douglas Goff, PhD, a professor in food sciences at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, in statement on the study.Goff led the team from the university’s Human Nutraceutical Research Unit.Their study focused on the effects of a breakfast containing “high-protein” milk with cereal compared to a breakfast containing normal cow’s milk.The high-protein milk product contained additional whey protein powder in an effort to reduce blood glucose levels during the hours following the meal.

Whey is derived directly from cow’s milk. It’s often used as the base for the most affordable protein powders in the fitness industry.

Goff and his team concluded that the additional protein in the milk successfully kept blood glucose levels in a healthier range. It was reportedly more satiating, too.

“There is an impetus to develop dietary strategies for the risk reduction and management of obesity and diabetes to empower consumers to improve their personal health,” said Goff.

Dairy industry connection

However, experts contacted by Healthline said the suggestion that a breakfast of high-protein milk with cereal is actually beneficial to someone’s blood glucose levels is dangerous, manipulative, and blatantly disingenuous.

“This is harmful advice,” Kelly Schmidt, RD, LDN, told Healthline. “These research and public relations efforts around this data are an injustice to the uninformed consumer who is trying to improve their diabetes by learning from public information and research.”

Schmidt added that when she merely read the headline of this study, it was clear to her that the research was funded by the dairy industry.

The Journal of Dairy Science is owned by the American Dairy Science Association (ASDA) — an international organization comprising educators, scientists, and industry representatives who are self-described as “providing educational and scientific activities for the betterment of the dairy industry.”

“This research is motivated by trying to increase dairy and cereal sales, and is confusing to someone who is innocently trying to follow recommendations to improve their diabetes,” says Schmidt.

In an email to Healthline, the ASDA defended its publication, saying it is “not owned or controlled by the dairy industry.”