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'Dessert' With Breakfast Boosts Weight Loss: Study
Date:6/25/2012

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Starting your morning with a high-protein food and a "dessert" -- such as a doughnut or a slice of cake -- may help you lose weight and keep it off, a new study suggests.

However, several nutritionists said they weren't ready yet to embrace the study's conclusions.

When researchers from Tel Aviv University's Wolfson Medical Center in Israel compared two diet regimens -- one featuring a low-carbohydrate breakfast, the other a high-protein, high-carb breakfast -- the sweets-with-breakfast group lost more weight after eight months.

"Although dietary restriction often results in initial weight loss, the majority of obese dieters fail to maintain their reduced weight," wrote the study's authors.

Diet-related weight loss often triggers hunger and cravings while decreasing suppression of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger, the researchers said. This may encourage weight gain. But, "a high protein and carbohydrate breakfast may overcome these compensatory changes and prevent obesity relapse," they concluded.

The findings are scheduled for presentation Monday at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting in Houston.

But at least two U.S. nutrition experts question the wisdom of encouraging regular consumption of sweet, calorie-dense, low-nutrition foods.

"A combination of protein and carbohydrates may have kept these study volunteers satisfied, but you have to pay attention to the quality of foods you're eating, too," said clinical nutritionist Lauren Graf at Montefiore Medical Center, in New York City. "You don't want to encourage people to eat a lot of foods with trans fats, like doughnuts, cookies and cakes." Trans fats, which are partially hydrogenated oils found in baked goods and other products, can raise blood cholesterol levels.

Samantha Heller, a registered dietitian and clinical nutrition coordin
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