Background: Regular breakfast consumption is associated with better health status and healthier food intake throughout the day, but this association is a complex interaction of several factors. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the effect of nutritional and cognitive-perceived characteristics of breakfast on metabolic and behavioral variables related to food intake. Methods: The study was a randomized, crossover, controlled trial, with 4 experimental conditions consisting of 3 isoenergetic breakfasts and 1 energy-free control meal. Breakfasts had similar nutritional profiles but differed for glycemic index (GI), glycemic load (GL), and perceived healthiness, satiety, palatability, or energy content. Fifteen healthy normalweight men [means ± SDs; age: 24 ± 2 y; body mass index (BMI; kg/m2) 23.4 ± 1.6] underwent each experimental condition in random order during 4 different weeks, separated by ≥1-wk washout. On the third day of each intervention week, postprandial blood variables (with insulin as primary outcome), satiety ratings, and food intake during an ad libitum lunch consumed 4 h after breakfast (secondary outcomes) were measured for each experimental condition. Results: A main effect of time, treatment, and time × treatment was found for postprandial insulin, glucose, and nonesterified fatty acids (P < 0.001 for all) after having the 3 iso-energetic breakfasts or the energy-free control one. Postprandial satiety was similar for the 3 energy-containing breakfasts, but higher when compared with the energy-free control (P < 0.001). No difference in energy intake was observed for the ad libitum lunch, whereas prolonged breakfast skipping was compensated by an increase (around +10%) in the average energy intake during the rest of the day, resulting in no differences in the total daily energy intake among the 4 conditions. Conclusions: Although other advantages might exist for breakfasts based on low-GI/low-GL foods, our findings support the hypothesis that minor differences in nutritional and perceived characteristics of breakfast are of limited importance regarding medium-term energy intake in healthy men.
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