Now, Heather Leidy, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, says eating a breakfast rich in protein significantly improves appetite control and reduces unhealthy snacking on high-fat or high-sugar foods in the evening, which could help improve the diets of more than 25 million overweight or obese young adults in the U.S.
"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," Leidy said. "These data suggest 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."
People who normally skip breakfast might be skeptical about consuming food in the morning, but Leidy says it only takes about three days for the body to adjust to eating early in the day. Study participants ate egg and beef-based foods such as burritos or egg-based waffles with applesauce and a beef sausage patty as part of a high-protein breakfast; Leidy also suggests eating plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or ground pork loin as alternatives to reach the 35 grams of protein.
Future research will examine whether regularly consuming high-protein breakfasts improves body weight management in young people.
The article, "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," was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology is a joint effort by MU's College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; College of Human Environmental Sciences; and School of Medicine. Funding for the research was provided by the Beef Check-off and the Egg Nutrition Center/American Egg Board.
Christian Basi | EurekAlert!
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