• News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
BW Businessworld

High Protein Breakfast: The Key To Preventing Hunger Pangs

Hunger pangs will continue to be a blight on one's effort to stay healthy and lose weight, not to mention serve as the psychological barrier to motivation, which is why it is important to reduce their impact by consuming a healthy, balanced breakfast

Photo Credit : Shutterstock


One need not be a medical professional to know that a balanced breakfast is incredibly essential to one's health and nutrition. The fact that 'breakfast is the most important meal of the day' is such a well-known phrase that it has practically become an idiom in its own right, is ample evidence that this knowledge has been in the public consciousness for decades. What is rather inexplicable however is the sheer number of Indians who choose to opt out of this essential meal for whatever reasons, which in turn causes numerous health complications.

According to a survey we recently conducted from a pool of our users, up to 60% of Indians skip breakfast entirely, while an additional 30% eat very light breakfasts, preferring to consume heavier lunches and dinners instead. Furthermore, 70% of people admitted to having considerably long gaps between meals. This is potentially harmful to one's overall health and wellbeing because a heavy, protein-rich breakfast is vital to preventing food cravings throughout the day.
A recent study by the University of Missouri found that 20 young people who ate breakfasts with 40% protein, as compared to those how consumed 15% protein reported significant reductions in "savoury and sweet" food cravings. This study also concluded that a balanced breakfast, particularly one high in protein, increases satiety and reduces hunger throughout the day, in addition, using functional magnetic resonance imaging the study found that eating a protein-rich breakfast reduces the brain signals controlling reward-driven eating behaviour. The science behind why high protein breakfasts tend to reduce hunger is well established. What it essentially states is, proteins take longer to digest than an equivalent serving of carbohydrates and fats, and as a result reduces the body's capacity to consume more food. Breakfasts of such a nature also reduce the secretion of ghrelin - a hormone that stimulates a feeling of hunger far more efficiently than carbohydrates.

In order for one to consume what would qualify as a "high protein" breakfast, one's meal must include a minimum of 30 grams of protein. This is the best way to jump-start the body's metabolism, prevent mid-morning sugar crashes, and control the desire to overeat, for several hours. It's been proven that given the side effects of a protein-rich diet it is an extremely viable option for those looking at serious weight loss regimes. Here are just some popular food items that are an excellent source of proteins:

Egg Whites: Eggs are among the purest forms of proteins available in nature and a staple item on any breakfast menu. The yolks of eggs, however, have high levels of cholesterol which means they should ideally be avoided.

Seafood: While seafood isn't generally part of a traditional breakfast it is an excellent source of protein and a healthy substitute for red meat.

Milk and Milk Products: Reduced-fat versions of milk and milk products such as curd, paneer are all very good sources of protein and contain significant traces of calcium which help break down body fat resulting in weight loss.

When selecting choosing which sources of protein are compatible with one's personal fitness goals it is extremely necessary to consider options that do not contain excess fat. High-protein sources like red meat and full-fat cheeses can be high in saturated fats which outweigh the benefits of satiety throughout the day. Conversely, egg whites, skimmed milk, tofu or low-fat yoghurt. Lean protein food selections offer the benefits of a high-protein breakfast, without the harmful side effects like weight gain or increased cholesterol levels that can stem from the regular consumption high-fat protein sources. Another thing to keep in mind is making sure to create an environment in the gastrointestinal that facilitates absorption and assimilation of amino acids through the consumption of foods containing vitamin B-6, which can be found in fruits, nuts, fish, legumes, and whole grains.

Hunger pangs will continue to be a blight on one's effort to stay healthy and lose weight, not to mention serve as the psychological barrier to motivation, which is why it is important to reduce their impact by consuming a healthy, balanced breakfast.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Tags assigned to this article:

Veer Ramlugon

The author is CEO, The Food Analyst.

More From The Author >>