Most consumers are aware that they should make protein a priority at breakfast, but it may be equally important for them to choose an optimal amount of protein to maximize its benefits.
This was suggested by a new research presented at the American Society for Nutrition's Experimental Biology conference this week. Researchers found that when comparing common breakfasts with varying amounts of protein, a commercially prepared turkey-sausage and egg bowl, cereal and milk, and pancakes with syrup, choosing the higher-protein commercially prepared turkey-sausage and egg bowl provided increased feelings of fullness and lesser calorie intake at lunch, when compared to the lower-protein breakfasts.
"There is great value in understanding protein's true power when optimal amounts are consumed. Protein is top of mind, but consumers should be more informed about how much protein they need at each meal occasion so they can maximize benefits, like hunger control," said Dr. Kristin Harris, head of nutrition research at Hillshire Brands. "Hillshire Brands expects to continue to leverage clinical research to drive innovation, which includes delivering consumer-preferred products that meet health and wellness needs."
Dr. Melinda Karalus, lead researcher, tested the short-term satiety effects of six breakfast meals similar in calories, fat and fiber and varied in protein; three turkey-sausage and egg-based breakfast bowls containing 40, 23 and 9 grams of protein, respectively, a cereal and milk breakfast containing eight grams of protein, a pancake and syrup breakfast with three grams of protein or no breakfast.
Participants were asked to rate their level of hunger before breakfast and at 30-minute intervals for four hours. After four hours, a pasta lunch was served and test subjects were asked to eat until comfortably full. Participants who ate the higher-protein breakfasts had improved appetite ratings throughout the morning, and they also consumed fewer calories during lunch, compared with the lower-protein cereal and pancake and syrup breakfasts, or no breakfast at all.
Blood glucose stability
Other research presented at Experimental Biology further supports the benefits of optimal amounts of protein at breakfast. A different team of researchers found that a commercially prepared sausage and egg breakfast containing 39 grams of protein better stabilized blood glucose levels after eating when compared to a commercially prepared sausage and egg breakfast containing 30 grams of protein and a pancake and syrup breakfast containing 3 grams of protein.
The abstracts entitled, "The effect of commercially prepared breakfast meals with varying levels of protein on acute satiety in non-restrained women" and "Acute Effects of High Protein, Sausage and Egg-based Convenience Breakfast Meals on Postprandial Glucose Homeostasis in Healthy, Premenopausal Women" were sponsored and funded by Hillshire Brands, Chicago.