Protein Satisfies

By Alan Newport October 21, 2015 | 9:16 am EDT

Evidence keeps building that adequate animal protein in each meal satisfies hunger and decreases body weight.

Heather Leidy, a professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, has in recent years shown positive effects from eating more protein at breakfast.

Commonly, people tend to eat protein in a sort of reverse order, with the least at breakfast, then a little more at lunch, then the most at supper. Research by Leidy and others has indicated several benefits from eating the same amount of protein but spreading it more evenly across all three meals, such that they eat about 30 grams of protein in each meal.

One of Leidy’s recent projects studied the effects of skipping breakfast, versus eating a breakfast with a typically small amount of protein, versus eating a breakfast with a higher amount of protein. The high protein breakfast contained two ounces of lean beef, two servings of egg whites, and one and a half servings of dairy. Over a 12-week study period with teenagers who normally skipped breakfast, she measured body weight and composition, daily food intake, and perceived sensations of fullness multiple times per day.

She found the breakfast skippers gained body fat and ate more calories eat day.

Those who ate a breakfast but with typically small amounts of protein, such as cold cereal and milk, fell closely in between these two groups.

Those who ate a higher-protein breakfast lost body fat and decreased their overall daily caloric intake.

They also reported greater satisfaction with their hunger through the day. Further, the adolescents achieved more even blood glucose levels through the day.


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