Packing More Protein in the Mornings Will Help Control Blood Sugar

Researchers discovered that a regular, high-protein breakfast reduces blood glucose levels.
  • Date
    25 Feb 2015
  • Country
    USA
  • Institution
    University of Missouri
  • Professional
    A. Y. Alwattar, J. P. Thyfault, and H. J. Leidy
  • Type of Study
    Randomized controlled clinical trial
  • Sample Size
    35
  • Time Frame
    4 days

Many will argue that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not only does the brain require food to charge itself for high-quality function, but blood sugar levels are also affected by what goes into the body in those early hours of the morning. Skipping breakfast is not uncommon, however it turns out that doing so can harm overall health.

In a recent study, researchers set out to discover whether normal protein vs. higher protein made a difference when it came to habitual breakfast skippers and habitual breakfast consumers. The experiment produced results that coincide with the belief that breakfast consumption is extremely important - including a higher-protein content.

The Study

The experiment consisted of 35 overweight adolescent females - twenty women comprised the breakfast skippers, and 15 women the breakfast consumers group. The breakfast skippers either continued to miss the first meal, or consumed a normal-protein breakfast (12 g), or one of high-protein value (32 g) for three days. Habitual breakfast consumers completed either the normal protein or the high protein for three days. The fourth day of the experiment consisted of an 8-hour test.

The Results

Researchers discovered the following: for those who normally don't eat breakfast, introducing a high-protein meal increased overall glucose levels, whereas a normal-protein breakfast increased total insulin. For the regular breakfast consumers, a high-protein meal actually reduced total all-day glucose levels. Comparing the two, they concluded that breakfast skippers who didn't follow a regular, high-protein breakfast routine experience higher blood sugar levels.

What Does This Mean?

Based on the research of this experiment, and the results, it can be concluded that not only do overweight people need to consume breakfast habitually, but they need to make sure the first meal of the day is high in protein. A 350-calorie breakfast, with 30 grams of protein is highly suggested. This can consist of anything from scrambled eggs with lean meat, or Greek yogurt.

For those following a vegetarian or vegan diet, three tablespoons of sacha inchi powder in a morning smoothie can provide 14 grams of good quality protein that can be complemented with a nutritious chia pudding with kiwi and banana, which offers 8 grams of proteins per three tablespoons of chia seeds. By maintaining reduced blood glucose or blood sugar levels, the risk for developing Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease goes way down.

Bibliography

  • European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, The effect of breakfast type and frequency of consumption on glycemic response in overweight/obese late adolescent girls, 2015