In a new study, researchers found that eating a big breakfast rather than a large dinner may prevent obesity and high blood sugar.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Lübeck in Germany.
Our body expends energy when we digest food for the absorption, digestion, transport, and storage of nutrients.
This process, known as diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT), is a measure of how well our metabolism is working and can differ depending on mealtime.
The team conducted a three-day laboratory study of 16 men who consumed a low-calorie breakfast and high-calorie dinner, and vice versa in a second round.
They found identical calorie consumption led to 2.5 times higher DIT in the morning than in the evening after high-calorie and low-calorie meals.
The food-induced increase of blood sugar and insulin concentrations was diminished after breakfast compared with dinner.
The results also show eating a low-calorie breakfast increased appetite, specifically for sweets.
The team says that a meal eaten for breakfast, regardless of the amount of calories it contains, creates twice as high diet-induced thermogenesis as the same meal consumed for dinner.
This finding is important for all people as it underlines the value of eating enough at breakfast.
The researchers recommend that patients with obesity as well as healthy people eat a large breakfast rather than a large dinner to reduce body weight and prevent metabolic diseases.
The lead author of the study is Juliane Richter, M.Sc., Ph.D. from the University of Lübeck in Germany.
The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
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