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Collaborative Success Stories: Protein: It’s What’s for Breakfast


Protein for Breakfast

The first meal of the day might be the most important—but what should we eat? University of Missouri researcher Dr. Heather Leidy has the answer: protein.

In healthy individuals, the amount of glucose and insulin in the blood increases after eating. Over time, extreme increases can increase an individual’s risk of developing diabetes. Leidy collaborated with scientist Dr. Kevin Maki of Biofortis Clinical Research to better understand how protein consumption affects glucose and insulin levels.

The two researchers conducted a study in which women ages 18-55 consumed one of three meals. The meals were less than 300 calories and had similar fat and fiber contents. However, they varied in amount of protein. Results showed that when women consumed high-protein breakfasts, they maintained better glucose and insulin control than with lower-protein meals.

“For women, eating more protein in the morning can beneficially affect their glucose and insulin levels,” said Leidy. “If you eat healthy now and consume foods that help you control your glucose levels, you may be protecting yourself from developing diabetes in the future.”

Dr. Heather Leidy is an assistant professor in MU’s Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. The department is affiliated with the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, the College of Human Environmental Sciences, and the School of Medicine.

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Related Initiative(s):
Food for the Future, One Health/One Medicine,