Breakfast - The Many Benefits (cont.)

All the participants lost about 18 pounds over the course of the study, but the group eating more protein - about 30% of total calories - kept more lean muscle than the group who ate the same number of calories but less protein.

Experts note that lean muscle mass is more metabolically active, and thus helps with weight management.

Breakfast Cereal and Weight Control

Many studies have also shown that when breakfast cereal is consumed as part of an overall healthful lifestyle, it can play a role in maintaining a healthy body weight.

A Harvard study of more than 17,000 men found that those who frequently ate breakfast cereal -- both refined grain and whole-grain types -- consistently weighed less than those who rarely or never ate breakfast cereal.

Another study, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, evaluated the diets of adults and found that breakfasts of ready-to-eat cereal were associated with lower BMIs in women than other, higher-fat breakfast meals.

Choosing the Right Breakfast Foods

This just goes to show how important it is to choose the right foods for breakfast. A healthy breakfast meal should contain a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, and lean protein.

Even if you think you don't have time to eat breakfast, there are grab-and-go options that fill the bill. Some quick and healthy choices include:

  • A veggie omelet and a piece of whole-wheat toast
  • A whole-wheat English muffin with low-fat cheese, a scrambled egg, and slice of tomato or lean ham
  • Smoothie made with fruit and low-fat yogurt
  • Salmon on 1/2 whole-grain bagel with light cream cheese
  • Whole-grain cereal with fresh fruit and low-fat milk
  • Oatmeal made with skim milk, raisins and nuts, with 4 ounces of orange juice
  • Low-fat yogurt and a piece of fresh fruit
  • Yogurt smoothie and breakfast bar
  • Hard-boiled egg and a banana

Published August 29, 2007.


SOURCES: Nikhil V. Dhurandhar, PhD, associate professor, department of infection and obesity, Louisiana State University's Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Wayne Campbell, PhD, associate professor, department of foods and nutrition, Purdue University. Leidy, H., Obesity Research, 2007; vol 15: pp 421-429. Campbell, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2007; vol 107: pp 565-569. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, July 2007; vol 107(7): pp 1139-1145.

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Last Editorial Review: 8/30/2007