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Protein-Packed Breakfasts Help Control Appetite

Update Date: Nov 14, 2013 12:54 PM EST

Having steak and eggs in the morning may help you lose weight, according to a new study.

New research reveals that having a protein-rich breakfast helps curb hunger throughout the morning, compared with eating a low-protein breakfast.

"Eating a breakfast rich in protein significantly improves appetite control and may help women to avoid overeating later in the day," Kevin C. Maki, principal investigator of the study and a research scientist with Biofortis Clinical Research, a Mérieux NutriSciences company, said in a news release.

The latest study involved women ages 18 to 55 years old. Researchers said that all the breakfast meals contained approximately 300 calories and similar quantities of fat and fiber. However, the protein breakfast plant contained 30 to 39 grams of protein.

Participants complete questionnaires that asked them about their appetite. They were asked about their feelings of hunger, fullness and desire to eat breakfast and at 30-minute intervals between breakfast and lunch.

All participants had a standard lunch meal of tortellini and sauce. Partiicpants were asked to eat until they felt comfortably full.

The study found that participants who had a protein-rich breakfast felt lower hunger, more fullness and less desire to eat compared with the low-protein breakfast and breakfast-skipping group.

"In the USA, many people choose to skip breakfast or choose low protein foods because of lack of high protein convenient choices. These results demonstrate that commercially prepared convenient protein-rich meals can help women feel full until lunch time and potentially avoid overeating and improve diet quality," Heather Leidy, an assistant professor specializing in appetite regulation at the University of Missouri and a co-author on the study, said in a news release.

The findings were presented at The Obesity Society's annual scientific meeting in Atlanta.

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