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The Many Benefits of Breakfast

The right breakfast foods can help you concentrate, give you strength – even help you maintain a healthy weight.
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Make Lean Protein Part of Your Breakfast continued...

"Protein blunts your hunger the most, and is the most satiating," Purdue University researcher Wayne Campbell, PhD,  tells WebMD.

And a traditional breakfast of eggs may be one of the best ways to get your morning protein. While eggs are not always associated with weight loss, they contain some of the highest-quality protein.

In a study presented at the 2007 Experimental Biology meeting, researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center compared weight loss in women who ate either two eggs or a bagel for breakfast. The two breakfast meals were identical in calories and volume.

"Compared to the bagel eaters, overweight women who ate two eggs for breakfast five times a week for eight weeks as part of a low-fat, reduced-calorie diet, lost 65% more weight, reduced waist circumference by 83%, reported higher energy levels, and had no significant difference in their … blood cholesterol or triglyceride levels," reports researcher Nikhil V. Dhurandhar, PhD. 

Another study, reported in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, also substantiates eggs' ability to satisfy hunger.

"Both these studies show that when people eat eggs at breakfast, they felt more satisfied and consumed fewer calories throughout the day, compared to those who ate a primarily carbohydrate meal like a bagel," explains Dhurandhar. 

But what about the cholesterol in eggs? A large egg contains 75 calories, 6 grams of protein, and 212 mg cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), healthy people can eat an egg a day. 

"It should be noted in our study that none of the women had increases in blood lipids, confirming that healthy adults on a low-fat diet can enjoy eggs without significantly impacting their risk of heart disease," says Dhundar.

Another study, reported in Obesity Research, found that women who added a little lean protein to their breakfast (in the form of a slice of Canadian bacon added to an egg sandwich made with an English muffin) felt less hunger during the next four hours than those who ate a breakfast without protein.

All the participants lost about 18 pounds over the course of the study, but the group eating more protein – about 30% of total calories – kept more lean muscle than the group who ate the same number of calories but less protein.

Experts note that lean muscle mass is more metabolically active, and thus helps with weight management.

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