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The Breakfast of Champions!

Friday, February 19, 2010 Posted by Travis Saunders
[Travis' Note: Peter and I are both on tight deadlines for school work today, so for today's post we have chosen to re-post an article which was originally published on April 16 of last year.  We will return to fresh content next week.  Have a great weekend!]

It is often suggested that breakfast consumption is key facet of a healthful diet, especially when attempting to lose weight. However, while breakfast may be ‘the most important meal of the day’ the composition of that breakfast must not be overlooked.

Particularly, diets high in fiber are known to be associated with better control of body weight as well as glucose homeostasis. For example, a prior meta-analysis suggests that consumption of greater than 14 g/d of dietary fiber for over 2 d is associated with a 10% decrease in energy intake.

On an even shorter time scale, other studies have shown that eating a breakfast high in fiber, versus a breakfast low in fiber but with the same number of calories, is associated with greater suppression of appetite and food intake during the lunch meal.

A new study published ahead of print in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition adds further support for the contention that consuming a high fiber breakfast aids in the control of energy balance.

In this study, 32 men and women were randomly assigned to have an EQUAL VOLUME (60g) of either a high fiber breakfast cereal (26 g fiber, 120 kcal) or a low fiber cereal (1 g fiber, 217 kcal). Subsequently their pre-lunch appetite as well as the food consumed during lunch (ad libidum) were monitored (some 3 hours post breakfast).

The study found that while the pre-lunch hunger and the caloric intake during the lunch did not differ between treatments, the cumulative caloric intake (breakfast + lunch) was significantly lower in the group eating the high-fiber cereal by about 100kcal, largely on account of the more satiating effect of the high-fiber cereal (greater fullness for less calories).

So it may be time to trade the Fruit Loops for some oatmeal for your daily breakfast – you may also save some money while you’re at it.

For about 2 years, I have been having a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, along with some fruit. At first the transition from uber-sweet boxed cereals may be rough – adding some raisins or fresh berries or grapes to the oatmeal eased my transition.

What did you have for breakfast today?


ResearchBlogging.orgHamedani, A., Akhavan, T., Samra, R., & Anderson, G. (2009). Reduced energy intake at breakfast is not compensated for at lunch if a high-insoluble-fiber cereal replaces a low-fiber cereal American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 89 (5), 1343-1349 DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2008.26827

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9 Response to "The Breakfast of Champions!"

  1. thomas Said,

    what's your take on honey? guess that takes the whole idea and purpose out of the plain oatmeal ... no?

    Posted on February 19, 2010 at 1:35 PM

  2. Travis Saunders Said,

    I can't speak for Peter, but I often have a little honey or maple syrup with my breakfast, depending on what I'm eating. For oatmeal I like maple syrup, and with toast I like a bit of honey. As with everything, I think it's an issue of moderation.


    Posted on February 19, 2010 at 1:48 PM

  3. Kat Said,

    You asked a while ago for general feedback... I find that when the posts sound TOO focused on just "weight-loss" (yes, I realize it's called obesity panacea, so kind of the point!), as someone who doesn't need to lose weight but is interested in the research field, I start to get turned off... kind of like I got totally turned off a certain running mag. As an active person who needs to make sure I eat ENOUGH, I read this post and I think hey, I need to stop eating so much fibre for breakfast so I can be hungrier and eat more to fuel myself! Although I personally add a whopping "mass" of brown sugar to my oatmeal/raisin/chopped-apple/ground-flax/spoon-of-PB/made-with-milk concoction for breakfast, so I think I'm safe...! Cholesterol-lowering benefits to that yummy filling oatmeal also.

    Posted on February 19, 2010 at 3:07 PM

  4. Anonymous Said,

    "So it may be time to trade the Fruit Loops for some oatmeal for your daily breakfast"

    But, but, the new Fruit Loops ads on television feature cute kids who insist it's good for you since it contains 2g of fibers ! How can you contradict Toucan Sam and cute kids ?

    Posted on February 19, 2010 at 4:10 PM

  5. BdN Said,

    Sorry, forgot to sign : BdN

    Posted on February 19, 2010 at 4:11 PM

  6. Joshua Said,

    Oats with strawberries and a pinch of ground flax seed. And two eggs, scrambled. And a glass of 2% fat milk.

    Posted on February 19, 2010 at 8:14 PM

  7. Anonymous Said,

    A veggie burger on a whole grain sandwich thing bun with 1/2 oz. cheese and a large pear. This approach seems to work for me since
    I find that if I eat cereal for breakfast that I'm ravenous by mid-morning.

    Posted on February 22, 2010 at 8:40 AM

  8. Jenny Said,

    Two eggs, poached, on an English muffin with some spinach and a tiny bit of spicy chipotle spread. Sometimes I go wild and make a breakfast burrito. I usually add half an orange or some berries on the side, as well.

    I'm an egg girl. If I don't do eggs and toast in the morning, I'm starving and sleepy by 10.

    Posted on February 22, 2010 at 11:04 AM

  9. Peter Janiszewski, PhD (Cand.), MSc Said,

    Wow - I see that my breakfast is seriously lame in contrast to some of these intricate entres. I literally eat everyday exactly what is pictured at the top of this post - oatmeal with milk and raisins. Often I will throw some granola, nuts, etc on top to spice things up. I also have a bananna and orange, or some other fruit combo. I must admit, I am rather boring with my breakfast routine:)

    Posted on February 22, 2010 at 11:26 AM


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We are PhD students in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Our research focuses on the relationships between obesity, physical activity, and health risk. This blog is our attempt to consider the many "cures" for obesity that we read about on a daily basis. Enjoy.


The opinions expressed here belong only to Peter and Travis and do not reflect the views of any organization. Any medical discussion on this page is intended to be of a general nature only. This page is not designed to give specific medical advice. If you have a medical problem you should consult your own physician for advice specific to your own situation.

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