How important is protein for appetite control?

The sensation of feeling full is very important as you want to feel satisfied after you’ve eaten a meal or snack. If not, you can be left with cravings that can lead to poor follow-up food choices.

A lot is spoken about the importance of high fibre foods and low-glycaemic index (GI) carbohydrates for appetite control. However, research has shown that it is actually protein that has the greatest impact on appetite control. Studies have found that the most effective way to stimulate the release of satiety hormones is by consuming protein-rich foods. These hormones send a signal to your brain telling you that you’re full. Other studies have even gone as far as suggesting that our hunger is only met once we’ve consumed enough protein from the food we eat, with the amount differing from person-to-person, meaning that people following a low protein diet are at risk of overeating.

However, until further evidence is available the verdict is still out on this theory.

Spread your protein across the day by having some eggs, milk or yoghurt at breakfast, snack on tuna, yoghurt or nuts, and make sure you’re adding some meat, fish or legumes to your lunch and dinner!

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