By Rhonda McDowell

According to Whey of Life, whey is considered a valuable component in many foods. It contains protein the body needs to stay healthy. From infant formulas to diet programs to food for strengthening the immune system, whey protein finds itself in foods you eat everyday.

Loaves of bread at market
credit: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
Whey protein

Bread and Other Baked Products

Variety of bread at outdoor market
credit: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
Baked products

Whey is a byproduct of cheese-making. During the process, a liquid component forms on top of the curdled milk and separates. The liquid is actually whey protein and is used in many other food products in either liquid or power form. Baked goods, for example, are sometimes given such a significant amount of whey protein during preparation that it nearly becomes as healthy as milk.

According to Baking Management, whey used in bread and other baked goods, like cookies and crackers, can become a substitute for regular flour or fat. It gives these foods a creamier flavor and better color. Too much whey protein, however, can change its consistency and taste.

Cheese, Butter and Creams

Cheese platter on white background
credit: Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The same byproduct from curdled milk is also sold to dairy farmers who are in butter and cream production. According to Practically Edible, whey protein is processed to become whey creams, which make butters and creams taste saltier with a hint of cheese flavor. Butters and creams with whey are also incorporated into candy-making as well as yogurt and some ice cream processing.

Many cheese-makers are putting whey cream back into its cheese products, giving the cheese a higher fat content, according to UW Dairy Alert. Thus, some supermarkets and groceries have regular cheddar cheese with whey content in them.

Fruit Smoothies

Tropical fruit smoothies
credit: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
Fruit smoothies

Vegetarians, athletes and body builders who want to keep high-protein diets without eating meat can benefit from drinking smoothies blended with whey protein powders. These powders are supplements that don't have saturated fats. According to True Star Health, protein powders come in two types: concentrate and isolate. There is about 30 percent to 85 percent protein in the concentrated whey powder form, which is widely available. The isolate type has about 90 percent protein and is better absorbed by the body. It's best for those who are lactose intolerant.

Cereals, Pancakes and Oatmeals

Bowl of cereal
credit: Jupiterimages/ Images

A hearty breakfast treat of cereals, pancake or oatmeal with whey protein helps jumpstart a person's metabolism. Boxes and mixes for these items with whey variants are sold at groceries so you don't have to add whey powder. These breakfast treats may also be eaten in-between meals as snacks, especially if a person is engaged in active workouts. According to Life Extension Magazine, whey protein's effects on the body lasts for three hours.