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Nutritional Concepts Mid-Week Brief
April 10, 2013
Dear Valued Subscriber,  

I'm a Big Winner!

Avocado Takes the Championship. 

Who could have imagined that a pear-shaped, alligator-skinned fruit would become the people's Superfood Champion?


Avocado ended up with a convincing 64% of the vote. Congratulations to runner-up Olive Oil on a miraculous run.


Most of all, thanks to all of you who participated in our version of March Madness. I hope you had as much fun as we did. The Whole Foods gift Card winner will be announced next Monday.


Access to Final Bracket Here.  


Have a happy, healthy day. Bonnie and Steve Minsky

Using Breakfast as Therapy.


In this month's American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, researchers state that breakfast is one of the best therapies to curb the obesity and diabetes epidemics.
There has been a remarkable change in the types of foods consumed at breakfast over the past 40 to 50 years. The "typical" American breakfast in the 1960s consisted of bacon, eggs, toast, and milk, which has now been replaced with Ready-to-Eat Cereals (RTECs) and other carbohydrate-rich breads. The shift in food selection at breakfast has also been accompanied by a reduction in the number of people who actually eat breakfast. 
Many studies have shown that those who eat breakfast eat fewer unhealthy snacks, exhibit improved appetite, satiety, and have better body weight management. Furthermore, breakfast consumers have, on average, better glucose control throughout the day compared with those who skip breakfast. Approximately 32% of adolescents skip breakfast on a daily basis, and up to 60% skip breakfast more than 3 times per week. Studies indicate that the substantial decline in breakfast consumption in the past 20 years has closely paralleled the significant increase in obesity.
One of the key studies surrounding breakfast and obesity prevention/treatment pertains to the men and women who are part of the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR). To date, the NWCR has followed more than 5000 individuals who have lost at least 13.6 kg for at least 1 year, with the goal of identifying the characteristics of individuals who have succeeded at long-term weight reduction. When examining the dietary habits of these individuals, the majority (78%) reported eating breakfast on a daily basis, whereas only 4% never eat breakfast. 

The researchers indicate that the addition of a 500 kilocalorie breakfast leads to significant post-breakfast reductions in perceived appetite, increases in perceived fullness, increases in the satiety hormone PYY, and decreases in the neural activations in brain regions controlling food motivation and reward in habitual breakfast-skipping adolescents. Furthermore, the addition of breakfast leads to a reduction in energy intake at lunch.


Even more exciting is that the researchers delved into the make-up of the ideal breakfast, and implored dietary health professionals to promote lean, high quality protein with breakfast. 


Protein-rich meals lead to post-meal, daily, and long-term reductions in feelings of perceived hunger, increases in perceived fullness, and reductions in the hunger hormone ghrelin. Furthermore, high-protein breakfasts lead to greater reductions in neural activation associated with food cravings and executive control compared with the normal-protein breakfast. Subsequent (i.e. lunch) energy intake is also lower following the high-protein breakfast versus skipping breakfast or consuming the normal-protein breakfast.


The evidence is undeniable. So why do so many of us skip or eat poor breakfasts?

  1. Lack of hunger upon waking is a primary reason.
  2. Not enough time in the morning.
  3. Lack of convenience
  4. Forgetting to eat.
  5. Not sure what to eat.
  6. Kids have undo influence over the menu.

Breakfast Tips 

  • Include an equal amount of carbohydrate and protein foods on your breakfast plate. Ideally, the carbs should be fruits and vegetables.
  • Prepare breakfast the night before. Reheat in the morning.
  • Make it a priority to eat breakfast as a family.
  • Incorporate a variety of healthy, protein-rich foods to increase desire to eat breakfast (leftovers, hard-boiled eggs, Greek yogurt, nuts, fruits, veggies, etc.).

For more detailed information and menus, access our New American Breakfast Action PlanIf you are not an NCI Well Connect subscriber, you can purchase the New American Breakfast separately here


For NCI Well Connect subscribers, it is free by email request. To become a Well Connect subscriber. Simply click on this link to register.