SKIPPING breakfast is not recommended, according to recent studies that found that a breakfast meal curbs hunger throughout the day.
Furthermore, a protein-rich breakfast that includes beef or pork with eggs reduces calorie intake over the rest of the day and reduces unhealthy snacking, especially in the evenings, according to the studies. This can help with weight control, the studies found.
One study, conducted with beef checkoff funds and reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that animal proteins such as beef are complete, high-quality proteins that contain the essential amino acids a body needs for optimal health.
Additionally, a 3 oz. serving of lean beef has just 150 calories and 48% of the recommended daily value for protein, the report says.
A second study that focused on pork and adolescents' breakfast habits confirmed what nutritionists have long touted about the importance of breakfast, according to lead researcher Dr. Heather Leidy, assistant professor in the University of Missouri's department of nutrition and exercise physiology.
As many as 20-30% of adolescents in the U.S. do not eat breakfast, and the habit is associated with excess weight, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's "Dietary Guidelines for Americans."
Accordingly, Leidy's study put 54 teenage boys and girls into three groups: (1) teens who ate a high-protein breakfast that included lean ham or sausage with eggs, (2) teens who ate a high-carbohydrate breakfast that included ready-to-eat cereals and (3) teens who skipped breakfast.
She reported that the teens in the first group who ate a high-protein breakfast consumed 400 fewer calories per day than the teens in the other two groups. This was due to the teens in the first group — by volition, without any directions or guidance to do so — eating fewer high-fat, high-sugar snacks in the late afternoon and evening, she said.
Leidy said the findings are consistent with previous research involving adult men.
Both studies highlight cutting-edge nutrition research with wide-reaching public health implications, said Dr. Mitch Kanter, director of the American Egg Board's Egg Nutrition Center.