Have you noticed that some healthy meals do not always fill you up for long hours, as previously expected? Many of you, who want to take care of your nutrition, carefully select food products, keep an eye on the energy value of the diet and the content of macronutrients, and yet you are often tempted and eat unplanned snacks during the day. In today’s post I would like to touch on the subject the effect of eating meals with a high protein content on the feeling of fullness, which may be especially important for you if you want to eat healthy or lose weight, but hunger is frustrating your efforts. Perhaps it is enough to change the composition of the dishes a bit so that you can control your appetite more effectively Let’s check it!
First meal: porridge or scrambled eggs – what to choose?
You ask me a lot of questions about what to choose: protein-fat breakfasts or meals with higher carbohydrate content. The answer is difficult and as usual depending on your individual needs. From the athlete’s point of view, the time and type of training are important to me. If I’m planning my morning endurance training, I will definitely be more likely to eat porridge. And when I am going to exercise in the afternoon, and in the morning I have other chores to do – I often use the protein-fat option. However, it is worth asking yourself one more question – how will a given type of meal affect our feeling of satiety?
Of the 3 macronutrients, protein has the highest satiating ability. How to use this fact in practice? If you know that there is a longer period of time when you will not be able to eat another meal, it is worth preparing a dish with a higher protein content in the morning, so that you feel full for hours. It can also be useful for people who have a problem with snacking during the day – we are always tempted when hungry.
The results of research by American scientists who checked how the consumption of high-protein breakfasts influenced the feeling of appetite during the day and the desire to snack unhealthy snacks in the evening turned out to be interesting. To this end, 20 young women who skipped breakfast on a daily basis were given a meal with high protein content or with a standard amount of protein (the energy value of both meals was the same). The results showed that high-protein breakfasts increased satiety by reducing the activity of the brain centers responsible for the feeling of hunger. In addition, the respondents declared less desire to eat unhealthy snacks high in fat or sugar in the evening (such as the beloved crisps and ready-made sweets …).
Not only protein
Although the data of other researchers also confirm that protein allows us to enjoy satiety for longer (especially protein of animal origin), we cannot forget about the other important macronutrients: carbohydrates and fats. Each of them performs specific roles in the body and is necessary for its proper functioning. However, you should limit the consumption of products rich in simple sugars, which will cause the blood glucose level to rise quickly, but will drop just as quickly and make us hungry, lethargic and tired again after a while. From among fats, it is better to choose plant products: good quality olive oil, oils, avocados, seeds, seeds and nuts. Beware of deep-fried products that are processed and do not bring any nutritional value to our body.
Remember that the feeling of fullness is not only influenced by the protein content in the meal. It is also very important dietary fiber, which you will find mainly in vegetables and fruit, but also in good-quality bread and coarse-grained groats. The higher the fiber content in a meal or its daily intake, the greater the effect on satiety. Individual fiber fractions extend the intestinal passage, and in addition, meals containing a lot of fiber require longer chewing, which means that we eat a meal longer and as a result we will feel satiety faster. Other important factors determining the feeling of satiety include the degree of fragmentation of the product, its volume, consistency, and the method of processing. Liquid foods (cocktails, smoothies, soups) leave the stomach faster, so they do not feel as full as solid foods, which take longer to digest. You have also noticed that it is more difficult for us to eat a large amount of raw vegetables (in the form of salad or salad) than, for example, a small bar (even the healthy one). This is due not only to the presence of fiber in vegetables, but also to the aforementioned volume of the meal.
As you can see, eating a higher-protein breakfast can be one of the effective eating strategies to prevent overeating. But don’t forget about dietary fiber, healthy fat sources and complex carbohydrates. If you have trouble controlling your appetite during the day and you can’t resist sweets and salty snacks in the evening, try choosing a higher protein breakfast (scrambled eggs, frittata, chicken / fish salad, dry muffins). Recipes for delicious breakfasts and other meals can be found on my blog HERE
- Leidy HJ, Ortinau LC, Douglas SM, Hoertel HA. Beneficial effects of a higher-protein breakfast on the appetitive, hormonal, and neural signals controlling energy intake regulation in overweight/obese, “breakfast-skipping,” late-adolescent girls. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013; 97(4): 677–688.
- Skotnicka M, Duraj N. The role of nutrients in the regulation of body satiety. Ann. Acad. Med. Gedan. 2015; 45: 79-87.
- Skotnicka M, Plata A. Assessment of the impact of high-protein breakfasts on short-term and long-term hunger levels. BROMAT. CHEM. TOXICOL. – XLIX, 2016; 3: 615 – 619.
The article How to avoid snacking? comes from the website Anna Lewandowska – healthy plan by Ann.