2015 Print
Breakfast Skippers Should Gradually Increase Morning Protein Intake
Other Funding | Nutrition & Health
Missouri | University of Missouri Agriculture Experiment Station | North Central Region
Teens who habitually skip breakfast experience poor metabolic response when they do start a consistent breakfast routine.
Impact Statement:
Teens who eat breakfast occasionally or habitually skip the meal experience poor metabolic response when they do start a consistent breakfast routine.
An MU researcher compared young women who habitually skip breakfast to those who routinely eat breakfast. The study found their metabolic responses to eating a high-protein breakfast were different. Specifically, 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. 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.
The researchers studied 35 overweight teenage 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 researchers found the young women's glucose responses to high-protein versus high-carbohydrate breakfasts were influenced by their typical breakfast habits. For habitual breakfast skippers, eating a high-protein breakfast led to elevated glucose levels throughout the day compared to skipping breakfast, whereas the standard, high-carbohydrate breakfast did not influence these responses. However, among those who routinely ate breakfast, the high-protein breakfasts led to reduced glucose levels throughout the day.
These findings indicate an increased inability among habitual breakfast skippers to metabolize a large quantity of protein. The data suggests 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.
Randy Mertens
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