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Surprising Science

Benefits of Protein-Rich Breakfasts

Still the most important meal, a University of Missouri researcher found that eating a healthy breakfast, especially one high in protein, increases satiety and reduces hunger throughout the day.

What’s the Latest Development?

Using an M.R.I., researchers found that eating a protein-rich breakfast reduces the brain signals controlling food motivation and reward-driven eating behavior. Heather Leidy, assistant professor in the University of Missouri Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology commented on the recent study: “Everyone knows that eating breakfast is important, but many people still don’t make it a priority. This research provides additional evidence that breakfast is a valuable strategy to control appetite and regulate food intake.” The study was focused on teens who skip breakfast because, according to data, most of them do anyway. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Help controlling overeating and other unhealthy nutrition patterns may be as simple as eating a good breakfast. By measuring how the brain reacts to skipping breakfast the researchers were able to conclude that reward-driven eating behavior is lessened when people eat a protein-rich breakfast. “Additionally, the higher protein breakfast led to even greater changes in appetite, satiety and reward-driven eating behavior compared to the normal protein breakfast. ‘Incorporating a healthy breakfast containing protein-rich foods can be a simple strategy for people to stay satisfied longer, and therefore, be less prone to snacking,’ Leidy said.”


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