There's no better way to kick off the day than with a healthy breakfast, but we never realized that this age-old adage now has behavioral advantages, too. People are more forgiving and tolerant when they've eaten a low-carb breakfast, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of Lübeck in Germany found that those who replaced carb-based food with proteins in the first meal of the day made more forgiving decisions in a card game a few hours later.
This is possibly because protein boosts levels of dopamine in the brain, which in turn makes us less aggressive and more open to being satisfied, the New Scientist reports.
MUST-SEE: 10 Breakfasts That Women Who've Lost Weight Swear By
Soyoung Park and her team asked 87 people what they had eaten for breakfast that morning before asking them to play an "ultimatum game" that involved splitting money with their allocated partner.
Those who had eaten a low-carb meal were 28 percent more likely to accept an unfair offer compared to those who'd enjoyed a breakfast that was high in carbs.
The researchers then repeated the experiment with a new set of people, whom they actively fed a low- or high-carb breakfast. The results were very similar: Those who'd had the low-carb option were more forgiving in their decisions.
Park speculated that a low-carb, high-protein breakfast triggered a higher baseline dopamine level among those who'd eaten it. And because dopamine signals rewards, they were more likely to find a lower offer from their partner acceptable in the card game.
MUST-SEE: Feel Like You Get Happier--and Sadder--Than Your Friends Do? This Could Be Why
Higher dopamine levels could also have resulted in participants being less aggressive and more rational. While more research is needed, the study suggests that diet can indeed influence people's behavior.
Wow, looks like we might want to be skip the carbs for our next morning meal.
The survey was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
This post was written by the editors of Grazia. For more, check out our sister site Grazia.
Eggs only have up to 75 calories each–giving you the low-calorie protein hit that you need to get you through the day. Even better news: according to a recent study, women who ate two eggs for breakfast lost 65 percent more weight than those who ate a bagel. Participants also felt more energized than their bagel-eating counterparts.