Researchers at the University of Missouri compared a normal-protein breakfast with a high-protein breakfast (35 grams of protein), and observed that the latter prevented gain of body fat, reduced regular food intake and appetite, and also helped stabilize glucose levels in overweight teens who generally avoid having breakfast.
The Importance Of Breakfast
According to previous research, almost 60 percent of teenagers and young adults habitually skip breakfast almost four times a week. Even though health experts stress on the benefits of breakfast in maintaining weight and overall health, it is actually the type of breakfast that matters.
Lead author Heather Leidy, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the MU School of Medicine says that the idea behind a high-protein breakfast – milk, eggs, Greek yogurt and lean meats – is to consume the perfect combination of 35 grams of high-quality proteins.
“Generally, people develop eating behaviors during their teen years”, explained Leidy. “If teens develop good eating habits now, such as eating breakfast, this practice is likely to continue the rest of their lives”.
The Study: High Protein Vs. Ordinary Breakfast
The researchers enrolled two groups of overweight teenagers who claimed to skip breakfast five to seven times a week. One group was fed normal-protein breakfast and the other group was given a high-protein breakfast. A third group of teens, skipping breakfast for as long as 12 weeks, were asked to continue their routine.
The normal-protein breakfast (13 grams of protein) consisted of milk and cereal. The high-protein breakfast (35 grams of protein) included eggs, dairy and lean pork. The participants had to account for feelings for hunger and daily intake of beverages and food. Their body weight and composition was recorded before and after the 12-week study. Moreover, all participants wore a device that took readings of their blood glucose levels every minute for an entire day.
Interesting Conclusions: High Protein Breakfast For Weight Loss
Leidy stated that the findings revealed that the intake of high-protein breakfast led to reduced daily food intake by 400 calories and loss of body fat. The teens who were given normal-protein breakfast, as well as those who continued to skip breakfast, gained additional body mass. “When an individual eats a high-protein breakfast, subsequently, it voluntarily, leads to less consumption of food for the rest of the day,” Leidy explained.
Moreover, for teens the high protein breakfast for weight loss is recommended, it also showed stable levels of glucose as compared to the other groups. This is an important aspect, since large fluctuations in blood glucose levels are linked to a risk of Type 2 diabetes in young individuals, which can further lead to weight gain.