Now, dieters have a reason to relax and enjoy, say, lean Canadian bacon and an egg for breakfast. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that timing of dietary protein intake affects feelings of fullness throughout the day. 

PurdueUniversity researchers tested the effect of consuming additional protein at breakfast, lunch or dinner — or spaced evenly throughout the day. The study shows that the feeling of fullness was greatest and most sustained when the additional protein from eggs and lean Canadian bacon was eaten at breakfast versus lunch or dinner.

“There’s a growing body of research that supports eating high-quality protein foods when dieting to maintain a sense of fullness,” says Wayne Campbell, study author and foods and nutrition scientist at Purdue.

The National Pork Board and the American Egg Board funded the study which evaluated overweight or obese men who followed a reduced-calorie diet. 

“This is another example of how pork provides consumers who are interested in weight control more options,” says Barb Determan, chair of NPB’s nutrition committee.  “Just last year, a checkoff-funded study published in an issue of the journal Obesity revealed that a calorie-restricted diet with additional protein resulted in retained post-meal feelings of fullness and improved overall mood.”

Campbell points out that most Americans typically consume a relatively small amount of protein at breakfast — only about 15 percent of their total daily protein intake. Additionally, consumer research by the International Food Information Council shows that 92 percent of Americans cite breakfast as the day’s most important meal. Yet, only 46 percent eat breakfast every day. 

“This presents a great opportunity for pork,” Determan says. “Consumers can visit to find high-quality breakfast ideas to help them with weight-loss efforts.”