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A high protein breakfast reduces evening snacking According to a new study, eating a breakfast rich in protein significantly improves appetite control and reduces unhealthy snacking on high-fat or high-sugar foods in the evening. The study, which consisted of 20 overweight or obese adolescent females, aged between 18-20 years, examined the impact of breakfast consumption on daily appetite and evening snacking in young people who habitually skip breakfast. The study participants either skipped breakfast, consumed a high-protein breakfast consisting of eggs and lean beef, or ate a normal-protein breakfast of ready-to-eat cereal. The breakfasts both contained 350 calories and was matched for dietary fat, fibre, sugar and energy density. The only difference was that the high-protein breakfast contained 35 grams of protein. Participants completed questionnaires and provided blood samples throughout the day. Prior to dinner, a brain scan was performed to track brain signals that control food motivation and reward-driven eating behaviour.

The results showed that the consumption of the high-protein breakfast led to increased fullness or “satiety” along with reductions in brain activity that is responsible for controlling food cravings. The high-protein breakfast also reduced evening snacking on high-fat and high-sugar foods compared to when breakfast was skipped or when a normal protein, ready-to-eat cereal breakfast was consumed. These results indicate that eating a protein-rich breakfast has an impact on the drive to eat later in the day, when people are more likely to consume high-fat or high-sugar snacks. Another reason to encourage people to eat breakfast…eggs anyone?


Aaron King

Exercise Physiologist

ASK Health Solutions