"Make protein a priority at breakfast” was an important message from new
research presented at the American Society for Nutrition’s Experimental
Biology (EB) Conference in sunny San Diego in April.
"Make protein a priority at breakfast” was an important message from new research presented at the American Society for Nutrition’s Experimental Biology (EB) Conference in sunny San Diego in April. After our long winter, it was great to get the extra vitamin D during the off-hours and hear about the interesting studies during the conference hours. The key takeaway from EB is that we need to distribute high-quality protein throughout the day and not just end-load it at the supper meal. Higher-protein diet regimes continue to gain scientific support as solutions to preserve muscle mass, promote weight loss, and to maintain a healthy weight throughout our lives. North Americans are accustomed to traditional-carbohydrate and calorie-loaded bagels, muffins, breads and sweet goods for breakfast. There is a great opportunity for the baking industry to design new high-protein breakfast foods to appeal to this market.
|Adding hemp powder to baked goods is one way to increase the protein content.
Dr. Heather Leidy from the University of Missouri was a speaker at EB. Leidy and her research team have confirmed the benefits of optimal amounts of protein at breakfast to better stabilize blood glucose levels after eating and to sustain the feeling of fullness known as “satiety.” Leidy presented the research at EB.
“The research shows when you eat a certain amount of protein at breakfast, you have an increase of fullness throughout the day,” she explains. “Our research demonstrated that when people consumed 30 grams of protein at a 350 calorie breakfast, this was the threshold to stimulate satiety.” This research suggests that roughly about 35% of the total calories at breakfast need to be provided by protein. This is a drastic change for most of us! Statistics indicate that when breakfast is consumed (and there are many breakfast skippers among us) by Canadians and Americans, the protein content each person gets is only about 8 per cent of the meal’s total calories.
Leidy confirms that for our traditional breakfasts, we will need to replace some of the carbohydrates and unhealthy fats with protein to achieve the 30-gram threshold in a 350 to 500 calorie meal. There are a few ways to do this. In my consulting business, I recommend changing to Greek yogurt (increased protein content) from regular yogurt and adding a protein powder such as hemp (refer to the Hemp for Health, Final Proof December 2013) to baked goods, smoothies and hot cereal. Now, what about other ideas to increase the protein in traditional breads and baked goods? Dr. Craig Sherwin, technology director at Davisco Foods International, recognizes that there is an increasing opportunity for the baking industry to create breakfast foods with protein.
When I recalled memories of a recent high-protein breakfast-cookie tasting, I described the cookies’ texture as being similar to cardboard and the flavour considerations as seemingly secondary. Sherwin explained to me that “Baking is about moisture management. It is important to understand that protein disrupts the role that water plays throughout mixing and baking. It makes sense to start the recipe from scratch rather than just swapping ingredients. I recommend reviewing all the ingredients [including the sugars and fats] to confirm their behaviour with the protein. Another important piece of the equation is the order of ingredients. This will affect the hydration process.”
Sherwin identifies the gluten-free category as another possibility to get a nutritive protein into the formulation. “We have been very successful at creating a gluten-free pizza crust with our BiPro whey protein isolate. The results include a neutral flavour, great functionality and it can be run like dough (rather than a batter) to operate on familiar systems.” Breakfast pizzas anyone? I believe this could be a great option with the right ingredient combination, flavour and texture.
The facts are in from the EB conference in sunny San Diego! When protein is eaten throughout the day, it can promote a feeling of satiety and ultimately assist in weight management. This means we need more breakfast options with high-quality protein. This along with a continued interested in gluten-free gives bakers many opportunities to showcase flavourful, palatable and high-protein breakfast choices to this marketplace.
Jane Dummer, RD, is a leading dietitian for the Canadian food and nutrition industry. Jane offers services specializing in agri-food, functional foods and food safety. For more information, visit www.janedummer.com .
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