Protein-Rich Breakfasts Prevent Unhealthy Snacking in the Evening
27th March 2013
Breakfast might be the most important meal of the day, but it also tends to be the most skipped meal of the day it. Now, researchers have found that eating a breakfast rich in protein significantly improves appetite control and reduces unhealthy snacking on high-fat or high-sugar foods in the evening.
In the first study to examine the impact of breakfast consumption on daily appetite and evening snacking in young people who habitually skip breakfast, 20 overweight or obese adolescent females ages 18-20 either skipped breakfast, consumed a high-protein breakfast consisting of eggs and lean beef or ate a normal-protein breakfast of ready-to-eat cereal. Every breakfast consisted of 350 calories and was matched for dietary fat, fiber, sugar and energy density. The high-protein breakfast contained 35 grams of protein.
Participants completed questionnaires and provided blood samples throughout the day. Prior to dinner, a brain scan using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was performed to track brain signals that control food motivation and reward-driven eating behavior.
The consumption of the high-protein breakfast led to increased fullness or “satiety” along with reductions in brain activity that is responsible for controlling food cravings. The high-protein breakfast also reduced evening snacking on high-fat and high-sugar foods compared to when breakfast was skipped or when a normal protein, ready-to-eat cereal breakfast was consumed.
The researchers commented:
“Eating a protein-rich breakfast impacts the drive to eat later in the day, when people are more likely to consume high-fat or high-sugar snacks….. The data suggests that eating a protein-rich breakfast is one potential strategy to prevent overeating and improve diet quality by replacing unhealthy snacks with high quality breakfast foods.”
So if you are someone who normally skips breakfast then it might be worth considering these findings. Eggs, natural yoghurt, fish, cheese, cooked meats and nuts are all good sources of breakfast proteins.
Leidy H. J et al. Beneficial effects of a higher-protein breakfast on the appetitive, hormonal, and neural signals controlling energy intake regulation in overweight/obese, ‘breakfast-skipping,’ late-adolescent girls. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2013; 97 (4): 677 DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.112.053116
Categories: Nutritional News, Hormonal Health, Weight Management, Children's Health