A new study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition has once again illustrated the importance of breakfast and that breakfast skipping can impact on metabolic responses.
The researchers investigated the breakfast habit of overweight women who habitually ate breakfast or habitually skipped breakfast. For the study, the habitual breakfast skippers ate a high-carbohydrate breakfast, a high-protein breakfast or continued to skip breakfast consecutively for three days. The habitual breakfast consumers ate a high-carbohydrate breakfast or a high-protein breakfast consecutively for four days. On the fourth day of each pattern, the researchers measured the subjects’ blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels throughout the day.
The study findings revealed that habitual breakfast skippers experienced poorer glucose control throughout the day when they consumed a high-protein breakfast, whereas those who typically ate a high-carbohydrate breakfast had improved glucose control after they ate a high-protein breakfast.
“Current scientific evidence shows that sustained elevations in post-meal glucose is a strong contributor of poor glycemic control and is associated with an increased risk for the development of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular complications.” said Heather Leidy, an assistant professor in the MU Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. “Because of the potential risk in the long term, identifying dietary strategies that individuals can begin when they are young to reduce post-meal elevations in glucose might prevent the occurrence of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”
“These findings may indicate an increased inability among habitual breakfast skippers to metabolize a large quantity of protein,” Leidy said. “Unfortunately, we don’t yet know how long someone who has been skipping breakfast needs to continue eating breakfast to experience benefits. However, our data would suggest that once someone begins to eat breakfast, they should gradually transition to a breakfast with more protein — or about 30 grams — to elicit improvements in glycemic control.”
The researchers recommend a daily breakfast containing 350-calorie with approximately 30 grams of protein.
A Y Alwattar, J P Thyfault, H J Leidy. The effect of breakfast type and frequency of consumption on glycemic response in overweight/obese late adolescent girls. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2015; DOI: 10.1038/ejcn.2015.12