The fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day is old news. But according to a team of researchers, what is consumed is just as important. A new study suggests that consuming a high-protein breakfast reduces hunger throughout the dayNatural responses to visual food stimuli after a normal vs. higher protein breakfast in breakfast skipping teens. Leidy, HJ., Lepping, RJ., Savage, CR., et al. University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas and University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri. Obesity, 2011 May 5.. Is there anything that breakfast can’t do?

The study found that breakfast eaters in general (regardless of the protein level) displayed feelings of reduced hunger in addition to previous findings of improved cognitive function and academic performanceA systematic review of the effect of breakfast on the cognitive performance of children and adolescents. Hoyland, A., Dye, L., Lawton, CL. Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK. Nutrition Research Reviews, 2009 Dec; 22(2):220-43.. But those who consumed a higher protein meal displayed even greater changes in appetite. The findings led researchers to believe that eating high-protein breakfast may be the key to appetite control.

This Is Egg-cellent News – The Analysis

By measuring brain signals, the team discovered that those who ate a protein-rich breakfast showed a more pronounced reduction in brain signals in the area that controls food motivation and reward-driven eating behavior (meaning it’s less likely they’ll be reaching for a mid-morning snack).

Whether it’s with a protein bar, last night’s roasted chicken, or a few extra egg whites, there are a lot of ways to infuse a little extra protein into breakfast. But there’s no need to channel a Gaston diet just yet— the study’s sample size was only ten, overweight, regular breakfast-skipping teenage girls (!).


Add a few extra egg whites to the morning omelet to reduce cravings throughout the day.

Updated October 2011