What should we eat and when we should eat it?
These are questions on the minds of almost every health-conscious and weight-conscious consumer. Recent research seems to be providing some answers, or at least providing us with some interesting food-for-thought. A just-completed study done in Israel, for example, indicates that eating the largest meal of the day at breakfast not only helps obese subjects maintain lower blood glucose, insulin, and triglyceride levels than their counterparts who eat their largest meal at the dinner hour, it also helps with weight loss. In this study the group that ate the larger breakfast lost an impressive 17 pounds after 12 weeks on a 1400 kcal/d diet, versus a 7 pound weight loss for the large dinner group.
Other recent studies indicate that subjects who eat higher protein breakfasts tend to be more satisfied and eat fewer calories over the course of the day. Taken together these studies have led many researchers and nutritionists to re-consider the long held belief that carbohydrates should be the main staple of our diets, at all meals. More and more studies suggest that carbs, while indispensable for athletes or active people who burn what they consume, should be ramped down in the average American diet. And substituting protein for the carbs we remove from the diet may aid the cause, by promoting satiety and the constant desire to eat more throughout the day.
Market research data suggests that consumers are getting the message. A recent article in Business Week indicates that breakfast cereal sales for most of the large manufactures are in decline. Analysts point to changing consumer behaviors, including a growing reluctance to eat simple carbs, and a rising concern about a gluten allergy. And though diet fads of this nature often come and go, the growing body of literature pointing to the importance of breakfast in general, and high protein breakfasts in particular, may mean this is a trend that’s here to stay.