Dietary protein reduces hunger and increases fullness in overweight men during weight loss programmes, a study says.
Diets “containing 18 to 35 percent of daily calorie intake from dietary protein, are associated with reductions in hunger and increased fullness throughout the day and into the evening hours,” said Heather Leidy, study author and professor in nutrition at the University of Missouri.
“In our study, the two groups ate either 25 or 14 percent of calories from protein, while the total calories and percent of calories from fat stayed the same between the higher-protein and normal-protein diet patterns,” the journal Obesity quoted Leidy as saying.
Leidy and associates also conducted an eating frequency sub-study in which a group of participants on both normal-and higher-protein diets consumed either three or six meals per day.
The researchers found that eating frequency had no effect on appetite and satiety on the normal-protein diet, according to a Missouri statement.
However, subjects on the higher-protein diet who ate three meals per day experienced greater evening and late-night fullness than those who ate six meals per day.
This study supports previous research that demonstrates higher-protein diets, including egg breakfasts, are associated with decreased calorie consumption.
One of the studies demonstrated that overweight dieters who ate eggs for breakfast lost 65 percent more weight and felt more energetic than those who ate a bagel breakfast of equal calories and volume.
Protein also plays important in muscle maintenance and the prevention of sarcopenia, that is age-related muscle loss.
Serena Ball, nutrition consultant and advisor to the Egg Nutrition Centre, suggests pairing protein-rich eggs with whole grains, fruits, vegetables and dairy for a complete, healthy breakfast.