12/10/2014 16:09 BST | Updated 12/12/2014 05:59 GMT

Breakfast: The Best Way to Start the Day?

Camille Styles

Breakfast is supposed to be the healthiest meal of the day - essential for anyone who is trying to manage weight. Remember the old dieting adage 'breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper'? Whilst there are many studies that link having a good breakfast with lower weight, most of these do not actually prove that weight loss can result from having a good breakfast - only that people of lighter weight generally tend to have a good breakfast. There could of course be many other reasons why they are of a lower weight than people who skip breakfast.

The classic breakfast - as recommended by many health care professionals and pushed remorselessly by the food industry is a big bowl of cereal. Whilst we are all increasingly aware that this can be very high in sugar and look for the healthiest versions possible - even the supposedly healthy granola types can contain high-sugar levels. For many of us who grab a breakfast en-route, the coffee shop latte with a muffin is a common choice - but again, sugar and calorie counts can be sky-high. We may therefore end up with spikes in glucose and insulin in the blood, which can lead to poor glucose control and increase the risk of developing diabetes over time. In the short-term, however, it can simply make us hungry after an hour or so - craving more satisfaction - hence the Elevenses hunger!

Whilst dismissed as a high-fat unhealthy breakfast, maybe the traditional bacon and eggs type meal has more going for it than previously thought. The "go to work on an egg" campaign of many years ago was also dismissed amid fears that more than an egg or two a day would raise cholesterol and cause heart disease - those fears have been largely dismissed now.

So, what is better for you - cereal or bacon and egg?!

Now, a University of Missouri researcher has found that when women consumed high-protein breakfasts, they maintained better glucose and insulin control than they did with lower-protein or no-protein meals.

The study looked at women served meals that varied in amount of protein: a pancake meal with three grams of protein vs a sausage and egg with over 30 grams protein. Researchers monitored the amount of glucose and insulin in the participants' blood for four hours after they ate breakfast and found that the high protein breakfast led to lower spikes in glucose and insulin after meals compared to the low-protein, high-carb breakfast."

These findings suggest that, for healthy women, the consumption of protein-rich breakfasts leads to better glucose control throughout the morning than the consumption of low-protein options.

So, my view is entirely in agreement that a high-carb breakfast is not as good for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels through the morning than a high-protein breakfast. For further articles on latest health claims or health myths debunked, visit