Eating foods at breakfast that are known to keep blood sugar levels low – such as whole grains, almonds, fruits, legumes, vegetables – can make you feel fuller and less likely to overeat for the rest of the day, new research shows.
Purdue University nutrition experts said having breakfast foods that have a low rating on the “glycemic index” – which ranks foods on how they raise blood sugar levels after eating – moderates appetite by keeping blood sugar levels low.
Foods with a high index rating are rapidly digested and can cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Foods with a low glycemic index produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels and are considered healthier, especially for people with diabetes.
At a meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists this week, the Purdue scientists presented research that found people who eat almonds at breakfast had longer-lasting feelings of fullness and lower blood sugar levels after breakfast and lunch, compared to those who did not have a low-glycemic breakfast.
The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, showed that when a low glycemic food is added to the diet, people choose to eat less at other times throughout the day. Researchers said the findings also underscore the importance of eating a healthy breakfast, citing prior studies that have estimated about 30 percent of people regularly skip breakfast.
"We can reverse pre-diabetes and prevent it from becoming diabetes,” said lead researcher Kantha Shelke. “Food has become the reason for what's ailing us, but it can actually be a solution in a number of different ways."