You can’t fly out the door, bagel in hand, and expect to keep your hunger under control for the rest of the day. Like mama always said, a nutritious breakfast will give you a healthy supply of energy to jumpstart your body in the morning. Now, we know even more about how certain breakfast ingredients affect the brain—and how to better curb our cravings. Check out the recent studies:
A bit of sweetness helps you eat less later
In a study published in the journal Hippocampus, researchers found that eating a bit of sweet stuff makes us less inclined to want more food later in the day. Now that’s a good reason to include an apple or blueberries with breakfast. Another good reason? Adding fruit to breakfast cereal can cut your risk of developing diabetes, obesity and hypertension while helping maintain your weight-loss goals. Just inspect the label and make sure it’s low-sugar cereal made with whole grains.
Protein-packed breakfast cuts cravings and overeating
Eating protein at breakfast boosts levels of dopamine, a brain chemical that provides a reward signal—which eases food cravings later in the day, according to a study in the Nutrition Journal. The study of 19-year-old girls tested the effects of different breakfasts, finding that girls who skipped breakfast had lower levels of dopamine and also craved high-fat foods the entire day. Those who ate a high-protein breakfast didn’t have those cravings and had dramatically less desire for sweets, which prevents overeating and obesity, says Heather Leidy, a nutrition and exercise physiology researcher at the University of Missouri-Columbia. If you aren’t already, now’s the time to add some eggs into your a.m. meal.
Low-fat vanilla yogurt makes us happier
Protein in the form of low-fat yogurt does more than damper cravings—it boosts your mood, according to European researchers. They measured emotional responses to various foods, especially yogurt. Eating low-fat yogurt made people happy, with vanilla low-fat yogurt creating the strongest positive emotional response, reports lead author Jozina Mojet, MD, from Food & Biobased Research in the Netherlands. Try low-fat Greek yogurt, which typically boasts about 17 grams of protein per cup.
- HealthDay: Diabetes Breakfast Mistakes to Avoid
- Science Daily: Eating sweets forms memories that may control eating habits
- Science Daily: Eating breakfast increases brain chemical involved in regulating food intake, cravings
- Medical Daily: Vanilla Yogurt Makes Us Happier; Measuring Consumers' Responses To Food Products Without Bias