Sometimes my recommendations are based on peer-reviewed scientific literature; other times they are based on my more than 30 years of experience and success, and sometimes they are based on both. One problem I’ve found is that those who wait for a full battery of double-blind research before they take action will be many years behind the leaders in our industry.
I don’t mean to imply that I am not interested in the science; quite the contrary. I have found the scientific community especially helpful in explaining the why and the how behind what I have experienced and witnessed in my clients. To that end, I would like to share some recent research that validates the wisdom behind a meat and nuts breakfast.
To those new to my writings, the Meat and Nuts Breakfast
has been a staple in my dietary recommendations for years as the best way to start your day. Virtually everyone who switches to the Meat and Nuts Breakfast reports improved mental clarity, increased energy, better appetite control and reduced cravings throughout the day. Besides ensuring a very slow and constant raise in glycemia, my biggest reason to push the meat and nut breakfast is how it positively affects drive neurotransmitters dopamine and acetylcholine. Fat loss and muscle gains are also noticeable very quickly when making this one simple change to your diet.
Although these studies don’t follow my meat and nuts program precisely, each study in its own way adds to our understanding of the benefits of a meat and nuts breakfast.
The first study, published online in June 2011 (ahead of a print version) by the journal Diabetes Care
, explores the value of choosing 2½ ounces of nuts instead of a calorically equivalent muffin. The lead author, Dr. David Jenkins, is well known as the pioneer of the glycemic index. In this 2011 study on type 2 diabetics, subjects were divided into three groups. One group received 75 grams of nuts to be included in their daily diets, another group received a protein-fortified whole wheat muffin, and the third group received a half serving of nuts and a half serving of muffin. After three months, the results showed that the full-nut group had significant improvements compared to the other two groups in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and the ApoB/ApoA1 ratio. Further, the important blood sugar control marker HbA1c showed statistically significant improvement in the full-nut group. Bottom line: This study supports the blood sugar balancing effect of nuts and also shows the value of nuts on serum lipids.
The second study is “The Effects of Consuming Frequent, Higher Protein Meals on Appetite and Satiety During Weight Loss in Overweight/Obese Men.” It was published in April 2011 in the journal Obesity. In this study, subjects consumed either a high protein diet or a normal protein diet, and were then asked to fill out a questionnaire every waking hour to assess their level of hunger, desire to eat and thoughts of food. The authors were able to show that consumption of higher-protein meals led to a greater feeling of satiety, less preoccupation with thoughts of food, and a decrease in late-night eating when compared to the “normal” protein diet. Bottom line: This study helps to demonstrate the decrease in cravings seen throughout the entire day from people using the Meat and Nuts Breakfast.
The third study was published in the British Journal of Nutrition
in July 2011. It is particularly interesting because it helps to answer a very common question regarding whole-food protein versus protein drinks. I am often asked if it’s okay to substitute a whey protein shake for the meat part of the Meat and Nuts Breakfast. Answering “yes” might help sell more supplements, but it’s not the right answer and doesn’t support optimal outcomes.
This latter study examined the effects of a protein-rich beverage versus a protein-rich solid meal, both containing 38 percent of energy from protein. Two groups of teens were studied and were given either the drink or the whole-food breakfast; four hours later both groups were given an all-you-can eat lunch buffet. While both groups expressed similar levels of satiety after breakfast, the teens who received the protein drink ended up consuming 33 percent more calories at lunch than the teens who had eaten a solid-food breakfast. Bottom line: This study shows the appetite controlling effects of whole-food meals, and also proves why the Meat and Nuts Breakfast is not called the “Whey Protein Shake Breakfast.”
Each of these three studies adds to our understanding of why the Meat and Nuts Breakfast works so well. When people follow this one simple dietary change, they have more energy, think more clearly, have fewer cravings, lose fat and build muscle.
Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Banach MS, Srichaikul K, Vidgen E, Mitchell S, Parker T, Nishi S, Bashyam B, de Souza R, Ireland C, Josse RG. Nuts as a replacement for carbohydrates in the diabetic diet. Diabetes Care. 2011 Aug;34(8):1706-11. Epub 2011 Jun 29.
Leidy HJ, Tang M, Armstrong CL, Martin CB, Campbell WW. The effects of consuming frequent, higher protein meals on appetite and satiety during weight loss in overweight/obese men. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Apr;19(4):818-24. Epub 2010 Sep 16.
Leidy HJ, Bales-Voelker LI, Harris CT. A protein-rich beverage consumed as a breakfast meal leads to weaker appetitive and dietary responses v. a protein-rich solid breakfast meal in adolescents. Br J Nutr. 2011 Jul;106(1):37-41. Epub 2011 Feb 15.