Young and overweight? Have high-protein breakfast

New York, Aug 13 (IANS) Having a high-protein breakfast including milk, eggs, meat and yogurt daily can reduce unhealthy weigh gain among overweight teenagers, says a new study.

The researchers compared the benefits of consuming a normal-protein breakfast to a high-protein breakfast in overweight teenagers who would normally skip breakfast.

“This study examined if the type of breakfast consumed can improve weight management in young people who habitually skip breakfast,” said lead author of the study Heather Leidy, assistant professor at University of Missouri in the US.

High-protein breakfast – which contained 35 grams of protein – prevented gains of body fat, reduced daily food intake and feelings of hunger, and stabilized glucose levels, the findings showed.

The key to eating 35 grams of protein is to consume a combination of high-quality proteins including milk, eggs, lean meats and Greek yogurt, Leidy noted.

For the study, the researchers fed two groups of overweight teenagers who reported skipping breakfast between five and seven times a week either normal-protein breakfast meals or high-protein breakfast meals.

A third group of teenagers continued to skip breakfast for 12 weeks.

The normal-protein breakfast meal was milk and cereal and contained 13 grams of protein. The high-protein breakfast meals contained 35 grams of protein.

“The group of teenagers who ate high-protein breakfasts reduced their daily food intake by 400 calories and lost body fat mass, while the groups who ate normal-protein breakfast or continued to skip breakfast gained additional body fat,” Leidy said.

“These results show that when individuals eat a high-protein breakfast, they voluntarily consume less food the rest of the day. In addition, teenagers who ate high-protein breakfast had more stable glucose levels than the other groups,” Leidy noted.

Large fluctuations in glucose levels are associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes among young people, which can make health complications associated with weight gain more intense.

The findings appeared in the International Journal of Obesity.

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