Eating a “big” breakfast relative to other meals has been shown in past studies to be helpful with appetite control and weight loss. According to an intriguing laboratory evaluation, it may be especially wise to include a hefty dose of fat in this first feeding of the day.
In this study, mice fed a breakfast meal higher in fat were successful in maintaining their weight and keeping their metabolic markers like cholesterol in the healthy range. This was in contrast to the mice fed a carb-rich, low-fat breakfast who gained weight and developed abnormal metabolic changes. The researchers found that feeding the rats a more fatty meal first thing in the morning primed the rat’s fat-burning system and kept it up and running throughout the day.
The carb-rich breakfast turned on carbohydrate metabolism throughout the day leading to less metabolic flexibility and fat burning. The researchers concluded, “The first meal you have appears to program your metabolism for the rest of the day.” (International Journal of Obesity Online, March 30, 2010)
Although similar studies in real people are warranted, this data has prompted me to add some additional “healthy” fat to my breakfasts. Bacon, sausage, butter and full fat cheese are not the way to go. Instead choose a healthy fat like nuts, peanut butter, almond butter, soy milk, smoked or canned salmon, sliced avocado, even extra virgin olive oil drizzled over a veggie omelet.
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