[Written by Peter Nielsen].
We all have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but many people — including 60 percent of young people — still don’t eat before starting their day! Now, a new study has found that eating a breakfast rich in protein is also an important factor in appetite control that and reduces unhealthy night-time snacking on high-fat and high-sugar foods!
The study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, examines the impact of eating breakfast on daily appetite and evening snacking in young people, especially those who skip breakfast. For the study, 20 overweight or obese adolescent women, ages 18-20, either skipped breakfast, ate a high-protein breakfast, or ate ready-to-eat breakfast cereal. All breakfasts consisted of 350 calories and were matched for dietary fat, fiber, sugar and energy density, however, the high-protein breakfast which also contained 35 grams of protein. Participants in the study completed questionnaires and provided blood samples throughout the day. Before dinner, a brain scan (fMRI) was performed to track the brain signals that control food motivation and eating behaviors.
The consumption of the high-protein breakfast led to increased feeling of fullness or ‘satiety’ and reduced the brain activity that controls food cravings. This led to healthier, less impulsive food choices throughout the day.
A high-protein breakfast also helps fuel your metabolism and allows you to burn more calories. Not eating breakfast heightens the risk of becoming increasingly resistant to insulin, which enables your body to convert glucose to energy for basic activities and also raises the risk of diabetes.
A high-protein breakfast offers many health benefits, but remember to eat high-protein options that low in fat. Red meat and rich cheeses are high in saturated fats that can overshadow the daily benefits. Go for lean protein choices like egg white white omelets, skim milk, or low-fat yogurt. Introduce tofu into your daily regimen by adding it to a fruit smoothie for a satisfying, refreshing way to start the day. Finding lean protein sources will allow you to reap the benefits of a high-protein breakfast, without the weight gain or raised cholesterol levels that can result from high-fat protein sources.
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