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Protein-Packed breakfast may prevent binge eating


Skipping breakfast may be easy to do, but a new study confirms yet again the importance of the first meal of the day.

Researchers at the University of Missouri found that eating a high-protein breakfast can help appetite control the rest of the day, preventing overeating at night.

Obese teen girls show reduced snacking

Twenty overweight or obese adolescent girls were recruited for the study. Over the course of six days, the girls were assigned one of three breakfast options: a 350-calorie dish with 35 grams of protein, a 350-calorie dish with 13 grams of protein, or nothing at all.

After seven days, the girls completed a 10-hour testing session to collect blood samples and conduct MRIs that would measure brain responses to food stimuli right before dinner.

Girls who ate the high-protein breakfast were less hungry and more full than girls in the other two groups, displaying lower brain activity in the regions that control appetite. The high-protein breakfasts reduced circulating levels of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for hunger.

"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," Heather Leidy, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at UM, told Medical Daily.

Three days to better habits

Leidy said that it only takes three days of high-protein breakfasts for the body to alter its food cravings, and she recommends starting the day with 35 grams of high-quality protein, like eggs, meat, cottage cheese or yogurt. Vegetarians can consume tofu, quinoa, beans or nuts.

"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," Leidy concluded.

Source: Medical Daily