High-protein breakfast curbs appetite, cuts calories eaten later

Teresa Tanoos's picture
High-protein breakfast curbs appetite throughout morning.
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Most people get more than enough protein from their daily diet, but they generally don’t eat much of it for breakfast and only a moderate portion for lunch.

However, a new study has found that eating a high-protein breakfast of hearty foods can help reduce hunger throughout the morning, compared with a low-protein morning meal or skipping breakfast altogether.

So what kind of high-protein foods should you be eating for breakfast? The answer may surprise you.

The study found that a heartier breakfast consisting of foods like sausage, bacon or egg, rather than low-fat foods like fruit or cereal, were more helpful at curbing appetite throughout the morning, while also reducing the number of calories consumed at lunch.

Researchers at the University of Missouri conducted the study on a group of women aged 18 to 55, who filled out questionnaires after eating breakfast meals that had around 300 calories each and contained similar amounts of fiber and fat.

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The high-protein breakfast meals contained 30 to 39 grams of protein. After eating the meal, participants rated various factors related to appetite on the questionnaires, including how full or hungry they felt after breakfast and at half-hour intervals between breakfast and lunch.

For lunch, the women were given meals like tortellini and sauce, which they were asked to eat enough of until satisfied.

As a result, the researchers found that the women not only had less of an appetite throughout the morning after a high-protein breakfast, but they also consumed less calories at lunch time, compared with eating a low-protein breakfast or skipping breakfast entirely.

Lead researcher, Dr. Kevin Maki, said that eating approximately 35 grams of protein, which is about the amount of protein in a four-egg omelet or two sausages and a strip of bacon, significantly helps improve appetite control.

He added that these protein-rich breakfasts also helped the women in the study avoid overeating later in the day. The study’s findings were presented at The Obesity Society’s annual scientific meeting in Atlanta last week.

Reference:
1. University of Missouri-Columbia. (2013, November 18). "High protein breakfast helps curb appetite throughout the morning."
2. University of Missouri-Columbia. (2013, March 26). Protein-Rich Breakfasts Prevent Unhealthy Snacking in the Evening.

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