Pancakes and toast may not be your best breakfast options if you're trying to lose weight. New research presented this week at The Obesity Society's annual scientific meeting in Atlanta shows that high protein sausage- and egg-based breakfasts curb hunger better than high-carb morning meals or skipping breakfast entirely.
The study, which tested the impact of various types of breakfast in 18- to 55-year-old women, suggest the traditional American diet (which typically includes more protein at dinner and less at breakfast) may be a contributing factor to the nation's obesity crisis.
"Eating a breakfast rich in protein significantly improves appetite control and may help women to avoid overeating later in the day," said lead researcher Kevin C. Maki, a scientist with Biofortis Clinical Research, a Mérieux NutriSciences company.
For the study, Maki and his team surveyed women after they ate different types of morning meals. All contained approximately 300 calories and similar quantities of fat and fiber, but the protein-rich breakfasts had 30 to 39 grams of protein.
Participants completed questionnaires to rate their levels of hunger, fullness, and desire to eat at 30 minute intervals between breakfast and lunch. The results showed women reported lower hunger, more fullness, and less desire to eat throughout the morning after eating a protein-rich breakfast. They also ate fewer calories at lunch, compared with the low-protein breakfast and skipping a morning meal entirely.
"In the USA, many people choose to skip breakfast or choose low-protein foods because of lack of high protein convenient choices," said Heather Leidy, an assistant professor specializing in appetite regulation at the University of Missouri and a co-author of the study.
"These results demonstrate that commercially prepared convenient protein-rich meals can help women feel full until lunch time and potentially avoid overeating and improve diet quality."
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