High-protein weight loss diet helps adults sleep better

March 28, 2016 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Weight Management

High-protein weight loss diet helps adults sleep better

Overweight and obese adults who lose weight with a high-protein diet may be more likely to sleep better, suggests a new research from Purdue University.

Most research looks at the effects of sleep on diet and weight control, but this study instead asked what are the effects of weight loss and diet -- specifically the amount of protein -- on sleep.

The researchers found that while consuming a lower calorie diet with a higher amount of protein, sleep quality improved for middle-age adults. Sleep quality was better compared to those who lost the same amount of weight while consuming a normal amount of protein.

A small pilot study found that in 14 participants, consuming more dietary protein resulted in better sleep after four weeks of weight loss.

Then, in the main study, 44 overweight or obese participants were included to consume either a normal-protein or a higher-protein weight loss diet. After three weeks of adapting to the diet, the groups consumed either 0.8 or 1.5 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight daily for four months.

The participants completed a survey to rate the quality of their sleep every month throughout the study. Those who consumed more protein while losing weight reported an improvement in sleep quality after three and four months of dietary intervention.

The sources of protein used in the two studies varied from beef, pork, soy, legumes and milk protein.

The lab also has studied how dietary protein quantity, sources and patterns affect appetite, body weight and body composition.

These new findings adds sleep quality to the growing list of positive outcomes of higher-protein weight loss diet, including body fat loss, retention of lean body mass and improvements in blood pressure.

Sleep is recognized as a very important modifier of a person's health, and this research is the first to address the question of how a sustained dietary pattern influences sleep.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2016.

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