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Study Links High-Protein Breakfast With Reduced P.M. Food Cravings

October 23, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers report that eating a high-protein breakfast boosts levels of the brain chemical dopamine that is associated with feelings of reward. Higher levels of the chemical may reduce cravings and overeating later in the day, leading perhaps to a reduced risk of obesity. People experience a dramatic decline in cravings for sweet foods when they eat breakfast, researchers said. But breakfasts high in protein also reduced cravings for savory (high fat) foods. Because dopamine levels are dulled in overweight and obese individuals, it takes much more stimulation (i.e., food) to elicit feelings of reward, thus further contributing to obesity.
Laura C Ortinau et al., "Effects of high-protein vs. high- fat snacks on appetite control, satiety, and eating initiation in healthy women. ", Nutrition Journal, October 23, 2014, © Ortinau et al.
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