Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality, and it is a major risk factor for the early onset of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). More than genetics, food, physical activity, walkability, and air pollution are lifestyle factors, which have the greatest impact on T2DM. Certain diets have been shown to be associated with lower T2DM and cardiovascular risk.
Diminishing added sugar and processed fats and increasing antioxidant-rich vegetable and fruit intake has often been highlighted, as in the Mediterranean diet. However, less is known about the interest of proteins in low-fat dairy and whey in particular, which have great potential to improve T2DM and could be used safely as a part of a multi-target strategy. This review discusses all the biochemical and clinical aspects of the benefits of high-quality whey, which is now considered a functional food, for prevention and improvement of T2DM and CVDs by insulin- and non-insulin-dependent mechanisms.