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Dieters Benefit from Higher-Protein Breakfast

A new study published online today found a link between timing of dietary intake and feelings of fullness throughout the day

A new study published online today found a link between timing of dietary intake and feelings of fullness throughout the day.

The study, published in the British Journal ofNutrition, concluded that when people ate high-quality protein foods, such as eggs and lean Canadian bacon for breakfast, they felt fuller throughout the day compared to when more protein was consumed at lunch or dinner.

“There is a growing body of research which supports eating high-protein foods when dieting to maintain a sense of fullness,” says Wayne W. Campbell, study author and professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University. “This study is particularly unique in that it looked at the timing of protein intake and reveals that when you consume more protein may be a critical piece of the equation.”

The new research, funded by the Pork Checkoff and the American Egg Board, tested overweight men who followed a reduced-calorie diet. Two diets were evaluated: normal protein intake, 11-14% of calories or increased protein intake, 18-25% of calories.

Purdue researchers tested the effect of consuming the additional protein at breakfast, lunch or dinner or evenly spaced throughout the day. The result was the greatest feeling of fullness was attained when the additional protein from eggs and lean Canadian bacon was eaten at breakfast vs. lunch or dinner.

“This is another example of how pork provides consumers interested in weight control more options,” states Barb Determan, Early, IA, pork producer and chair of the Pork Checkoff Nutrition Committee. “Just last year, a checkoff-funded study published in an issue of the journal Obesity revealed that a calorie-restricted diet with additional protein resulted in retained post-meal feelings of fullness and improved overall mood. The same study also found that a higher level of protein intake was more effective in maintaining lean body mass during weight loss.”

Most Americans consume only about 15% of their total daily protein intake at breakfast, says Campbell.

Consumer research from the International Food Information Council also shows that 92% of Americans believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, just 46% eat breakfast seven days a week.

“This presents a great opportunity for pork,” says Determan. “Consumers can visit to find high-quality breakfast ideas that will help them in their weight loss efforts.”