There’s been a bit of hubbub in the news lately about new research that says we should all eat chocolate cake for breakfast if we want to lose weight.
But, like a lot of things you read on the internet, it’s not quite right – and it isn’t particularly new.
Despite a slew of recent articles claiming that chocolate cake is the new breakfast food du jour, including
, the research backing up the trend is actually pretty old, having been published by a team of Israeli researchers way back in 2012.
The study, which you can read
in full here
, was pretty simple: after inviting almost 200 clinically obese people into the lab, the researchers split them up into two groups, and put them on two different diets.
Group one ate a low carbohydrate diet that included a low calorie breakfast. Group two ate similar meals at lunch and dinner, but ate a high-carb, high-protein breakfast that included a “dessert” item — cake, as well as chocolate, cookies, ice-cream, chocolate mousse or doughnuts.
Group one’s breakfast totalled 300 calories, while group two’s totalled 600 calories.
Overall, the two groups ate the same amount of calories per day.
After 32 weeks, the researchers were shocked to discover that the group who had eaten the chocolate cake actually lost more weight than their regular breakfast counterparts.
Case closed, right? Proof that, by having chocolate cake for breakfast, you’re guaranteed to nip those pesky sugar cravings in the bud, preventing you from gorging yourself
later in the day.
Not quite, says accredited practising dietitian,
“If you go back and look at the details of the original study, the researchers found that eating a larger breakfast, including some desserts if desired, is better than eating larger meals throughout the day,” McGrice tells Coach.
“That doesn’t mean that you can just replace your whole breakfast with chocolate cake!”
Ouch. Notch one up for the dietitians.
But that still makes the study a little bit interesting, because it
theorises that if you’re going to have your cake and eat it too, you’re better off doing it in the morning. But is this true too?
No it isn’t, says “
The Nude Nutritionist
” and dietitian, Lyndi Cohen.
“It doesn’t really matter whether you eat chocolate cake in the morning or at night,” Cohen tells Coach.
“What I think is more important that you eat chocolate cake surrounded by other people as opposed to by yourself.
“Our favourite treat foods should ideally be shared, eaten and enjoyed at social occasions rather than guilty devoured in the privacy of our home – which can lead to binge or emotional eating.”
It’s sentiment that McGrice agrees with, arguing that it’s the quantity of chocolate cake that matters – not when you eat it.
“This study suggests that we may be better off eating chocolate cake in the morning, but whenever you choose to eat it, ensure that your portion size is small, and savour every mouthful,” adds McGrice.
Yep – notch another one up for the dietitians. Despite the huge number of outlets recommending cake for breakfast, it appears that it’s simply another case of science being taken a little out of context (which – I should add – I’m
not completely innocent of doing
So, it appears that while we’re
to eat chocolate cake for breakfast provided it’s a small piece, we’re not allowed to kid ourselves by pretending it’s healthy.
If you want to start the day with something good for you, then both dietitians recommend focusing on eating anything that’s high in both fibre and protein.
“The best brekkies include a source of wholegrains, for carbohydrates to break your overnight fast and fibre for your digestive system, and source of dairy, for protein,” says McGrice.
“A fibre-rich breakfast like oats or a wholegrain breakfast cereal or yoghurt topped with seeds will help keep you feeling fuller and provide a healthy boost to your digestive system,” adds Cohen.
So if cake is out of the picture, what then is the perfect option to have for breakfast that ticks all of the nutrition boxes without tasting like cardboard?
This again is another point where both dietitians agree: the clear winner is the humble bowl of oats.
“Traditional oats made with milk and topped with seeds, fresh fruit or a teaspoon of peanut butter is delicious – and super healthy,” says Cohen.
“Another delicious, balanced breakfast choice is wholegrain toast with avocado and an egg.”
For McGrice, a bowl of oats is not only cheap and nutritious, it can be “dressed up” with toppings if your taste buds require it.
“Porridge or muesli with fruit and milk are one of the best breakfast options as it is high in fibre, contains carbohydrates to ‘break the fast’, antioxidants and protein,” recommends McGrice.
This is is a syndicated post. Read the original at coach.nine.com.au