I was going begin this post stating why it is important to start your day with a protein packed breakfast. As I conducted my research I found that most of the information I found pertaining to a high protein breakfast was citing the same study. The study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that people who enjoy breakfasts high in protein (at least 35 grams) are less likely to consume foods high in fat or sugar later in the evening. This exact study was cited by
Really the list just goes on and on, just google the study.
After reading the promising results from Heather Leidy, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, and multiple citations of this study, I decided I needed to dig deeper. The study was conducted at the University of Missouri, it looked at the impact of eating a high protein diet, on satiety and late night snacking. The study followed 20 overweight or obese females that either skipped breakfast, ate a high protein breakfast, or a normal-protein breakfast of cereal. The effects of these different breakfast choices were measured with brain scans and snack habits later in the night. The results were, “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, Leidy said.”
These results are fantastic! Maybe eating a high protein breakfast is the secret to weight loss, and will help combat obesity in this nation…However, maybe we need to dig a little deeper before I say all of that…
First of all it only looked at FEMALES ages 18-20. There are overweight and obese males and females of all ages. Secondly, the sample size was extremely small at only 20 people. Also, I’m not sure if I read this correctly, but from what I can find out, this study only occurred over the course of a single day. Maybe those in the study were off their normal schedule, were stressed out, or had run out of snacks, there are so many reasons the snacking, or lack of snacking results could of occurred. I think it would be extremely beneficial to extend this study more long-term. It also claims to be a step in the right direction, as far as weight loss, but obviously no results could be determined from a single day of the study. My main concern is that “the funding for the research was provided by the Beef Check-off and the Egg Nutrition Center/American Egg Board.” That seems just a little bit suspicious to me. Lastly, it worries me that the news of this study has spread so far, so quickly, and many generalizations have been made from the results.
I am definitely not saying this study is not an extremely useful stepping stone, in fact I personally have found that I stay fuller longer when I eat a high protein breakfast. It is a very important study with promising results. However, we just need to take the findings with a grain of salt. Further studies need to be conducted with larger more diverse sample sizes, and over longer periods of time before we can jump to conclusions that a high protein diet is beneficial in weight loss. I am not saying these findings aren’t useful, I concerned that many sources citing this study did not take into account the factors I listed above and made sweeping generalizations from the results of this study. Especially when articles write that anyone who eats a breakfast of bacon and eggs will weigh less…hmm, uh, not quite what the study was saying…
Another study I found that was also published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at whether a high protein breakfast, or a high carbohydrate breakfast was more satiating through suppression of postprandial ghrelin concentrations or through other physiologic processes. The results of this study found that “appetite ratings were not significantly different between the 2 treatments, and the high protein breakfast did not significantly affect energy intake (meaning total calories eaten during the day). The high protein breakfast decreased postprandial ghrelin concentrations more strongly over time than did the high carbohydrate breakfast. The high protein breakfast also reduced gastric emptying.”
Again, this study only looked at 15 MEN over the course of a single day. Further studies need to be conducted before the true impact of a high protein breakfast can be determined.
All of that being said, I am definitely fully supportive of a breakfast higher in protein rather than a highly processed, high carbohydrate breakfast. For now, I’ll stick to a mixture of some carbohydrates and a higher concentration of protein, until further studies are conducted! Here is a delicious, satisfying, breakfast, that fits that description!
This is an quick and easy breakfast that will be something new and different! I used my previous whole wheat wrap recipe. This is a great recipe to use up leftover wraps!