Individuals who consume egg proteins for breakfast are more likely to feel full during the day than those whose breakfasts contain wheat protein. Results from the study, conducted at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, in Louisiana, USA, were presented at the 19th European Congress on Obesity in Lyon, France.
The researchers enrolled 20 overweight or obese, but otherwise healthy, individuals to participate in the study in order to compare the satiating (hunger-satisfying) effect of an egg breakfast (EB) to that of a ready-to-eat cereal breakfast (CB) - matched for protein, carbohydrate and fat composition and energy density (ED) - but containing differing protein quality.
Participants were randomly assigned to eat either an EB or CB for one week under supervision. After a two-week break, the two groups swapped over. On days 1 and 7 of each test week, the researchers provided a structured buffet lunch in order to examine how hungry participants were after their breakfasts.
The researchers found that participants who ate an EB felt fuller before lunch, and ate less at lunch on days 1 and 7 during the egg week, than during the cereal week.
During the three hour period between breakfast and lunch, participants in the EB group also had lower concentrations of the hunger-stimulating hormone acylated ghrelin. They also had increased levels of PYY3-36, a hormone secreted by the intestines that signals satiety.
This study shows suggests diets with higher protein quality may enhance satiety, leading to better compliance and success of a weight loss diet.
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