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Does Tuna for Breakfast Help You Lose Weight?

By Jan Archer ; Updated July 18, 2017

Most dieters understand that breakfast is an important part of a healthy diet, and losing weight requires the amped metabolism that breakfast can produce. However, what to eat for breakfast can stump even the nutritionally savvy, as it is often confusing whether to focus on fiber-rich carbohydrates or proteins in the morning.

Tuna: High in Protein

First, understanding the nutritional profile of tuna will help you make a decision about whether to incorporate it into your breakfast plan. According to LIVESTRONG's MyPlate, a 6 oz. tuna steak contains 308 calories, 41 g of protein and 10.3 g of fat.

A 2 oz. serving of Starkist canned tuna, on the other hand, contain 50 calories, 11 g of protein and 1 g of fat. When canned in water rather than oil, tuna contains no fat.

While the tuna steak is larger in portion size and likely to comprise the majority of a meal, the 2 oz. canned tuna serving can be added to other dishes, such as eggs, sliced tomatoes or a breakfast sandwich. Both servings are nutritious with high amounts of protein, low amounts of fat and no carbohydrates.

Staving off Hunger with Morning Protein

According to Heather Leidy, a researcher and professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri, eating a healthy breakfast high in protein helps increase fullness and reduce hunger throughout your day, which can help lead to effective weight management. Furthermore, fMRI results have shown that protein-rich foods reduce the brain signals that tell the body it's hungry. Apparently, reward-driven food behaviors, or the desire to eat foods to reward oneself, are controlled and reduced by protein-rich breakfast foods.

Since extra snacking during the daytime adds up in terms of caloric count, loading up on protein in the morning to fuel your body on fewer calories is a key to weight loss.

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Ideas for Incorporating Tuna into Breakfast Dishes

Virtually any dish, from omelets to casseroles to breakfast sandwiches, can invite tuna as a substitute for other meats. The plus side of this healthy substitution is its low-fat profile. Traditional breakfast meats such as bacon, sausage and ham contain higher fat contents -- and not the healthy kind. According to LIVESTRONG'S MyPlate, just one link of breakfast sausage contains 190 calories and 20 g of fat. A large amount of this fat is saturated, which is linked to high cholesterol levels. Substituting a lean protein source such as tuna for fattier meats in the morning can amp up your diet and aid in weight loss.

Conclusion

While you won't typically find it on a diner menu, tuna is an excellent choice of protein for breakfast meals. Dieters have to think beyond their culinary horizons to create substitutions for common high-fat meals, and they can substitute tuna in virtually any breakfast entree to supply the protein necessary to create fullness, energy and a high metabolism -- the key components to a fat-burning body.

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