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November 3, 2014 • Healthy Living, Weight Control

Protein-Rich Breakfast Curbs Cravings

Want an easy way to reduce your food cravings? Eat your breakfast and make sure it is rich in protein! In a clinical trial that set out to determine if eating breakfast could modulate food cravings, scientist have some encouraging news. Relative to skipping breakfast, study subjects who ate breakfast experienced less intense cravings for high-risk sugary and fatty foods, especially if the breakfast was higher in protein. Consistent with these findings, the scientists were able to document that when the study subjects ate breakfast, their dopamine levels significantly increased. Dopamine is the brain chemical that regulates feelings of reward and plays an important role in impulse control. It seems that when breakfast is missed, dopamine levels are lower, which predisposes to more intense yearnings for high-risk foods and impulsive eating. The researchers noted that dopamine levels rose highest in those that had a breakfast rich in protein.Additionally, higher protein breakfasts proved to be the most effective in curbing food cravings. The lead researcher noted, “Our research showed that people experience a dramatic decline in cravings for sweet foods when they eat breakfast, however, breakfasts that are high in protein also reduce cravings for savory, high-fat foods.” ( Nutrition Journal 2014, 13:80)

In my own experience, I am amazed at the difference in my hunger control over the course of the day relative to the type of breakfasts I eat. Protein is clearly the key ingredient for optimizing my appetite control.

Here are three delicious and super-healthy protein-rich breakfast options.