We all know that sugar and simple carbs are fattening. Many are now also aware of their addictive properties for certain genetically disposed people. Studies on rats have shown that they develop withdrawal symptoms, including a drop in body temperature and aggression when sugar is added to their diet and then suddenly removed.
Bagels are one of the most popular breakfast foods for busy New Yorkers on the go. The amount of calories in the typical bagel (300-400 calories) should hold you over until lunch. So why is it that you still end up with the 10 AM munchies befriending the vending machine? Well, a meal consisting of a bagel is high in carbohydrates only. This macronutrient suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin quickly, causing you to feel satisfied just after eating. That instant gratification in response to eating simple carbs unfortunately comes at a price. Simple carbs drive down ghrelin initially, but this hormone then rises within a few hours to above normal levels; causing you to feel even hungrier than when you started eating in the first place!
A meal rich in proteins does not suppress ghrelin as quickly as a high-carb meal, but it promotes a longer satiety. You may not feel as satisfied immediately after eating an omelet as you would, had you chosen the bagel, but eventually you will, and the sensation lasts for hours with no dangerous spikes and crashes in your hunger hormones.
This also explains why studies done on human have shown that those who ate a breakfast containing 2 eggs ended up ingesting fewer calories throughout the day than those who ate a high-carb/low-protein breakfast.
However, the power of instant gratification is not to be underestimated, and that is why most people benefit from a breakfast both containing complex carbohydrates as well as some type of dense protein to ensure both instant as well as long-lasting satisfaction. Remember that the key to lasting weight-loss is not relying on fragile willpower that changes as the wind blows, rather it is focusing on foods that cut cravings, suppress hunger hormones and optimize your metabolism by increasing your dopaminergic system.
If you want to try the carb vs. protein experiment yourself, then make sure that you eat the same number of calories of carbohydrate and protein foods.
One of Dr. Braverman’s personal favorite brainpower breakfasts in order to boost dopamine and ensure long-lasting satiety consists of sunny-side up fried eggs with 1 teaspoon of tomato-basil spice (available via totalhealthnutrients.com) and a bowl of yogurt topped with wheat germ, maple syrup and choline powder (available at Total Health Nutrients). You can also call or drop by the office for a FREE copy of Dr. Braverman’s personal favorite breakfast recipes!
Get skinny with Dr. Braverman’s New York times bestseller book, Younger, THINNER YOU, which explains the scientific break-down of brain chemistry, cravings and metabolic optimization in simple terms as well as laying it all out for you in an easy guide that you can follow immediately!
You can get your copy of the NY Times bestseller Younger, Thinner YOU! at Total Health Nutrients.
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Bensaid A, Tome D, Gietzen D, Even P, Morens C, Gausseres N, Fromentin G. Protein is more potent than carbohydrate for reducing appetite in rats. Physiology & Behavior. 2002;75:577-582
Colantuomi C, Schwenker J, McCarthy J, Rada P, Ladenheim B, Cadet J, Schwartz G, Moran T, Hoebel B. Excessive sugar intake alters binding to dopamine and mu-opiod receptors in the brain. NeuroReport. 2001:12:3549-3552
Eric R. Braverman, M.D.
Dr. Braverman is a Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University and NYU Medical School, did brain research at Harvard Medical School, and trained at an affiliate of Yale Medical School. He is acknowledged worldwide as an expert in brain-based diagnosis and treatment, and he lectures to and trains doctors in anti-aging medicine.