Higher protein meals may help people who are overweight or obese burn more fat, according to new study from New South Wales, Australia.
In this study, 18 middle-aged adults who were of normal body weight, overweight or obese ate three different meals on three separate days.
On day one, they were given a "control" breakfast and lunch composed of 58 percent carbohydrates and 14 percent protein.
On the other two days, their meals were more balanced, with about one third of calories coming from protein and another third from carbohydrates.
Measures of fat metabolism were taken after eating each meal and compared between the obese and overweight people and the normal weight participants.
Eight hours after the higher carb, lower protein meals, those who were overweight or obese burned less fat than their thinner peers.
The difference in fat metabolism was less obvious when the study participants ate meals that had more protein.
People who were overweight burned more fat after eating the higher protein breakfasts and lunches versus after they had the lower protein meals.
Added protein seemed to modify the fat-burning deficit seen in heavy individuals, say the researchers.
Nutrition experts recommend adding lean protein to increase your rate of fat metabolism and promote weight loss.
Choose fish, poultry, lower fat dairy (skim or 1% M.F.), beans and nuts - instead of high fat cheese, red meat, processed deli meat, or bacon.
These findings will appear in the December 2008 issue of the journal Nutrition & Dietetics.
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