A Protein-Rich Breakfast May Lead To A Lunch With Fewer Calories
April 28, 2014

A Protein-Rich Breakfast May Lead To A Lunch With Fewer Calories

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

A growing body of research is suggesting that a protein-heavy breakfast is an ideal start to the day and a new study being presented at American Society for Nutrition's Experimental Biology 2014 conference in San Diego this week has found that a breakfast of turkey sausage and eggs provided longer-lasting feelings of fullness compared to a breakfast of cereal or pancakes.

Conducted by sausage-maker Hillshire Farms, the new study compared six different breakfast options: three commercially-prepared sausage-and-egg bowls containing 40, 23 and 9 grams of protein – as well as a cereal breakfast with 8 grams of protein, a pancake breakfast with 3 grams of protein or no breakfast at all.

"There is great value in understanding protein's true power when optimal amounts are consumed. Protein is top of mind, but consumers should be more informed about how much protein they need at each meal occasion so they can maximize benefits, like hunger control," said Dr. Kristin Harris, head of nutrition research at Hillshire Brands.

Volunteers had been instructed to score their level of hunger before breakfast time and at 30-minute time periods over the course of four hours. After that time period, a pasta lunch was provided and participants were instructed to eat until adequately full. Volunteers who ate the higher-protein breakfasts had elevated appetite ratings during the entire morning and they ate fewer calories at lunch, compared to those who ate cereal and pancake breakfasts or no breakfast at all.

The Hillshire Farms researchers noted that their study involved “commercially prepared breakfast meals,” which is another way of saying processed food and a study released last year found a link between some processed meat and increased risk of death from any cause.

“Risks of dying earlier from cancer and cardiovascular disease also increased with the amount of processed meat eaten,” lead author Sabine Rohrmann, of the University of Zurich, said in a statement in March 2013. “Overall, we estimate that 3 percent of premature deaths each year could be prevented if people ate less than 20 grams processed meat per day.”

The study's authors define processed meat as meat that has been treated in some way to extend its shelf life, change its taste, or make it more palatable.

While people who ate greater amounts of processed meat were also more likely to smoke, be overweight and have other relevant risk factors - the scientists included these further risk factors and still discovered that processed meat had a bad influence on long-term health outcomes.

The 2013 report noted that that the National Institutes of Health-American Association of Retired Persons (NIH-AARP) has found a connection between intake of either red and processed meat and an increased mortality risk – albeit a stronger risk correlation for red meat over processed meat.

“This research adds to the body of scientific evidence highlighting the health risks of eating processed meat,” Dr. Rachel Thompson, from the World Cancer Research Fund, told the BBC News last year. “Our research, published in 2007 and subsequently confirmed in 2011, shows strong evidence that eating processed meat, such as bacon, ham, hot dogs, salami and some sausages, increases the risk of getting bowel cancer.”