You know protein deserves a spot on your breakfast table. But new research presented at the American Society for Nutrition’s Experimental Biology conference suggests that the bigger the spot, the smaller your waist.
In the Hillshire Brands-funded study, researchers fed 36 women common commercial breakfasts that were similar in calories, fat, and fiber, but had varying amounts of protein. Breakfast options included: three different turkey sausage- and egg-based breakfast bowls; cereal and milk; and pancakes and syrup.
The women were asked to rate their hunger levels before breakfast and then every 30 minutes after eating for four hours. After four hours, the women were served lunch and instructed to eat until they felt comfortably full. It turns out, the women who ate the high-protein sausage and egg breakfasts enjoyed increased satiety throughout the morning and consumed fewer calories during lunch than those who had noshed on the lower-protein breakfasts.
The protein-eating, calorie-cutting connection: It takes serious time for your body to digest and metabolize protein, meaning it takes longer to leave your stomach. Ipso facto, you feel full sooner and for a longer amount of time than when you try to fill up on high-carb, low-protein breakfasts—in this case, cereal or pancakes.
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