High Protein Breakfast May Help Dieters

Study shows protein affects fullness.

Published on: Oct 15, 2008

A new study published online today in the British Journal of Nutrition found that timing of dietary protein intake affects feelings of fullness throughout the day. The study concluded that when people ate high-quality protein foods, from sources such as eggs and lean Canadian bacon, for breakfast they had a greater sense of sustained fullness throughout the day compared to when more protein was eaten at lunch or dinner.

"There is a growing body of research which supports eating high-quality protein foods when dieting to maintain a sense of fullness," said Wayne W. Campbell, PhD, 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, evaluated overweight or obese men who followed a reduced-calorie diet. The diet consisted of two variations of protein intakes, both which were within federal nutrition recommendations: normal protein intake, 11-14 percent of calories or increased protein, 18-25 percent of calories.

Purdue researchers tested the effect of consuming the additional protein at specific meals - breakfast, lunch or dinner - or spaced evenly throughout the day. The results showed the feeling of fullness was greatest and most sustained throughout the day when the additional protein, from eggs and lean Canadian bacon, was eaten at breakfast versus lunch or dinner.

"This is another example of how pork provides consumers interested in weight control more options," said Barb Determan, a pork producer from Early, Iowa 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."

Campbell also notes that most Americans typically consume a relatively small amount of protein at breakfast, only about 15 percent of their total daily protein intake.

Additionally, consumer research by the International Food Information Council shows that 92 percent of Americans cite breakfast as the most important meal of the day, however less than half, 46 percent, eat breakfast seven days per week.

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

The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-PORK or check the Internet at www.pork.org.