Protein for breakfast is a good start

You most likely have heard that it is important to have breakfast, because it is the most important meal of the day. Way back in the 1960s, Adele Davis noted nutritionist who was light years ahead of her time, recommended having breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.

This sage advice holds truer than ever today as we fight the growing rate of obesity, and lack of energy. This way of living is especially true if you have Type 2 diabetes, but it is important for everyone to help control your daily blood sugar levels, your energy, sleep patterns and keep your weight under control.

New research on having a high protein start to your morning has shown that you will feel fuller, and avoid going to bed hungry, as well as have a more restful sleep. Some scientific studies have noted that a caloric deficit diet can disrupt normal sleep patterns because of the negative effects on the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain.

Researchers at Purdue observed that dieters who had a higher level of protein for breakfast had improved sleep patterns including getting to sleep faster and having fewer episodes of wakefulness throughout the night. The conclusions were that subjects who consumed 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight as opposed to those who consumed only .8 grams per kilogram had better sleep.

Researchers stated that the increased protein did not make subjects immediately tired, but suggested that the increased protein affected overall satiety throughout the day by producing higher circulating plasma amino acids.

The researchers speculated that this could assist those trying to lose weight as well as help those with Type 2 diabetes to normalize their sugars. This study was reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers at Purdue and the University of Missouri suggest that there is accumulating evidence to indicate that consuming increased protein as well as quality fiber content at breakfast and increasing the numbers of calories ingested in the morning can be beneficial for both appetite suppression and sleep quality.

This research is very important because typically, people consume less protein in the morning than at other times of the day, usually opting for high carbohydrate meals including sugary cereals, granola or baked goods, waffles and fruit.

The quality of the carbs is also important. White flour and white sugar products raise the blood sugar significantly leading to a mid-morning crash of energy and hunger throughout the day. The carbohydrates taken in the morning must be full of fiber and limited to no more than about 30 grams.

Some excellent high protein sources are; egg whites, lean meats, plain Greek yogurt, low-fat milk, nuts, beans and brown rice and reduced fat cheeses. My favorite way of getting high protein that is balanced with quality carbohydrate is a protein shake that is labeled as a full meal replacement.

Protein should be part of every meal that you take in, in order to keep your energy up and your blood sugar regulated. Eating this way will also keep you leaner since protein takes more energy to metabolize than carbohydrates.

So, because you spend more energy breaking down the protein, you stay leaner. If you are also working out, the quality carbohydrates and protein that you consume throughout the day will help you recover from your workouts and build quality muscle.

Eating strategically is fundamental to feeling and looking your best. Add some quality protein to your breakfast and see for your-self the difference. Aloha!


Dr. Jane Riley, EdD., is a certified personal fitness trainer, nutritional adviser, behavior change specialist. She can be reached at, 212-8119 cell/text and


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