Over the years, there have been many attempts to cut carbohydrates out of our diets – one way or the other – and to replace these nutrients with proteins: it started with Atkins and has been followed up with, more recently, by Tim Noakes and the banting diet.  In nutrition and fitness circles, there has been talk of the possibility of creating carb-less baked goods and baking with whey protein . Is this trend here to stay and how well will it fit in with our banting lifestyles?

What is whey protein?

Milk consists of two proteins: casein and whey. Whey protein is a by-product during the cheese-making process.

Whey protein can help with muscle protein synthesis and promote lean tissue mass. Body builders and athletes have, for years, realised the benefits of this protein and have used it to, among others, build muscle, lose weight and lower cholesterol. However, in order to achieve these benefits you need to take whey protein while taking part in a well-thought-out training programme.

So if whey protein has all the benefits that are usually related to protein, surely we could use it as a substitute for ‘bad ingredients’ – in other words flour – to make carb-less baked goods? The answer isn’t quite as simple as we had hoped: some say ‘yes’ while others disagree.


You can use whey protein to make carb-less baked goods

Andrea Cespedes – a professionally trained chef as well as fitness specialist – believes that it is possible to bake using whey protein.  There have been some concerns about the baking process denaturing the whey proteins, so making these dangerous or useless. However, Andrea says that even when added to your favourite chocolate brownie recipe, the whey protein will still help you get the required protein you need.

Banting? Then steer clear of whey protein

Supporters of the banting diet strongly advise against using whey protein to make delicious carb-less baked goods – or anywhere else in your diet. They say that the average, urban dweller (who doesn’t have access to whey protein in its natural format) will use processed whey protein that can be bought at pharmacies and health food shops. Besides being extremely costly and artificial, this type of powder doesn’t have the correct balance of nutrients that your body needs.

So what is the truth? Is using whey protein in baking really beneficial? The jury’s still out on that one…

Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Specialised Nutrition course gives the student current and in-depth information on food groups and the fundamentals of healthy and well-balanced eating. The candidate will be able to use and apply nutritional principles in order to recommend nutritional guidelines for healthy eating, associated with physical activity. Learn more here.