A new study demonstrates that eating protein-rich eggs for breakfast reduces hunger and decreases kilojoule consumption at lunch and throughout the day.
The study, published in Nutrition Research, found that men who consumed an egg-based breakfast ate significantly fewer kilojoules when offered an unlimited lunch buffet compared to when they ate a carbohydrate-rich bagel breakfast of equal kilojoules.
This study supports previous research which revealed that eating eggs for breakfast as part of a reduced-kilojoule diet helped overweight dieters lose 65% more weight and feel more energetic than dieters who ate a bagel breakfast of equal kilojoules and volume.
"There is a growing body of evidence that supports the importance of high-quality protein in the diet for overall health and in particular the importance of protein at the breakfast meal," said Maria Luz Fernandez, PhD, study author and professor in the department of nutritional sciences at the University of Connecticut.
"We examined two typical American breakfasts, and the participants' self-reported appetite ratings reveal that a protein-rich breakfast helps keep hunger at bay."
How the study was done
Twenty-one men participated in this study and each ate two different test breakfasts. On one test day the participants ate an egg-based, protein-rich breakfast including three scrambled eggs and one-and-a-half pieces of white toast.
On another test day they ate a bagel-based, carbohydrate-rich breakfast including one plain bagel, one half tablespoon of low-fat cream cheese and six ounces of low-fat yogurt. The two breakfasts contained identical calories, but when the men ate the egg-based breakfast the researchers observed that:
the men ate roughly 460 fewer kilojoules at a buffet lunch three hours following the egg breakfast compared to the bagel breakfast
they consumed approximately 1 680 fewer kilojoules in the 24-hour period following the egg breakfast
blood tests showed that ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates hunger when elevated, was significantly higher after the bagel breakfast.
Protein best for breakfast
"Starting the day with a high-quality protein breakfast like eggs is a great tool to promote long-lasting fullness and reduced kilojoule consumption," said Helenbeth Reynolds, MPH, RD, registered dietician and nutrition consultant.
"For only 494 kilojoules, eggs are a compact, nutrient-rich source of high-quality protein, and nearly half of an egg's protein, along with many other nutrients, is found in the yolk, so I always encourage eating the whole egg."
Easy egg breakfasts
Reynolds suggests these tips to make a protein-rich breakfast incredibly quick and easy:
For a speedy and satisfying balanced meal, beat an egg in a small bowl or coffee mug, place on high heat in the microwave for 60 seconds and add it to a toasted whole-grain English muffin. Top with low-fat cheese and a slice of tomato.
Keep hard-boiled eggs ready and waiting in your refrigerator to grab as part of breakfast on the run.
Bake a batch of egg and vegetable muffin frittatas ahead of time, and quickly re-warm in the microwave for a delicious and filling, protein-packed breakfast.
- (EurekAlert, April 2010)