Environmental Nutrition

Be sure your breakfast includes naturally protein-rich foods such as eggs, lean meat and yogurt

Environmental Nutrition

It's clear that dietary choices -- not only what you eat but when -- may be important for hunger and weight control. There's no better example than breakfast. Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less than those who skip the meal. And even if they don't make healthful choices, breakfast eaters still eat less, according to research. When you skip breakfast, you tend to eat more calories throughout the day, compared to breakfast eaters who benefit from improved glucose levels that help fight food cravings later on. Even a simple breakfast has been shown to improve cognitive performance and mood in adults and children.

Protein is a highly satiating (filling) nutrient, because it is more difficult for the body to digest and absorb compared to nutrients like carbs (think eggs vs. bread). Protein keeps you more full for a longer time.

A study published in the March 2009 British Journal of Nutrition measured fullness when protein was increased in meals. The results showed no difference among the high protein groups when the body received the calories it needed, but when calories were restricted or cut back, a high protein breakfast led to increased feelings of fullness, indicating that protein at breakfast might help relieve feelings of hunger when cutting back on calories.

In another 2009 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, skim milk vs. fruit juice consumed at breakfast was measured on fullness and later lunchtime calorie intake. After consuming skim milk at breakfast, the men and women experienced higher satiety than those who had the fruit drink, and they ate an average of 200 fewer calories at lunch. Similar effects were observed with eggs in a 2010 study published in Nutrition Research. When adult men were given an egg as opposed to a bagel for breakfast, the egg group reported less hunger three hours after breakfast than the bagel group, and they consumed fewer calories at lunch and during the 24 hours following the egg breakfast.

"We have to focus on the diet as a whole, on what you're eating rather than just how many calories you're taking in. Things fall into place when you start putting healthy food on your plate," says Keegan Sheridan, N.D., licensed naturopathic doctor and natural food industry expert.

Redefining your sense of breakfast to include foods with protein is a simple solution for feeling full and fighting cravings later on. Instead of filling up on only high-carb fare such as breads, pastries and cereals, make sure to include naturally protein-rich foods such as eggs, nuts, lean meat, milk and yogurt each morning. Also, check the labels of many breakfast foods -- from cereals to waffles -- to see if they now have added protein.


Available at Amazon.com:

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder

No More Digestive Problems



Copyright © Environmental Nutrition. Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.







Health - Fill 'Er Up! Protein At Breakfast Impacts Satiety