What is satiety and how does it help manage your weight?

Satiety is the state of being sated or full and many studies have indicated that protein consumption generally increases satiety more than isocaloric (equal in calories) amounts of carbohydrate or fat alone.  In other words, if you eat 100 calories worth of chicken (or your choice protein), 100 calories worth of bread or 100 calories worth of sunflower oil, the chicken would keep you full the longest.   This has made protein & protein consumption a point of interest when dealing with weight management, as staying “full” longer will likely (but not always) mean that you are ultimately consuming less.  In fact, some studies have found that protein intake before a meal reduces the amount of calories ingested subsequently1,2.  This is thought to be due to:

  • Gut hormones. The presence of protein in the stomach increases the concentration of certain gut hormones which signal a reduction of hunger and thereby produce satiety.
  • Amino acids in the bloodstream.  There have been indications that as amino acid concentrations increase in the bloodstream, signals are sent to the brain’s “satiety center” which in turn depresses feelings of hunger, thus food intake.
  • Energy expenditure.  Protein metabolism is more “thermic” than carbohydrate and fat alone.  This means the breakdown of protein and process of building new tissue burns more calories than the other macronutrients. This thermic effect causes a rise in core temperature that may lead to feeling deprived of oxygen and thus promote satiety.

A combination of these events is reportedly interconnected with producing the “full-feelings” most associated when consuming protein whether with a meal or on its own as a snack.  Taking your time to eat while consuming a good portion of protein during each meal may help to stave off hunger for longer before the next meal.   This can help prevent unnecessary calories from snacking in between meals—unless you are snacking on vegetables or protein, then snack away! On the other hand, if you do get hungry between meals, having a high-protein snack may stave off the amount of food consumed (and thus calories) on the meal you plan to have afterward. Several studies have supported these findings1,2.

Given the versatility of GN protein powders, they can be added to various meals throughout your day to increase the proportion of protein in your diet.   GN plant proteins can be added to your morning shake or smoothie, glass of milk or juice, pancakes or waffles, yogurt, sandwich spread, soup or stew, dinner casserole, salad dressing, and or baked dessert.  Check out our recipe section for ideas!

 

References

  1. Paddon, et al. Protein, Weight Management and Satiety. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008; 87(suppl): 1558S– 61S.
  2. Veldhorst, et al. Protein-induced satiety: Effects and mechanisms of different proteins. Physiol & Behav. 2008; 94: 300–307.
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