Amongst all the macronutrients, Protein plays a important role in maintaining satiety(feeling of fullness).
Dietary sources of protein(both vegetarian and non-vegetarian) have increased capacity of maintaining high satiety level as compared to carbohydrates and fats. A higher dietary protein intake actually increases levels of the hormones that help maintain satiety in turn helping decrease levels of the hunger hormone .By replacing carbohydrates and fat with protein, it helps to boost levels of hormones that maintain satiety.
Higher dietary protein intake reduces appetite thereby making us consume lesser calories
High dietary protein intake can reduce hunger and appetite via several different mechanisms .This in turn helps to reduce total calorie intake of individuals.
As a result people end up eating lesser calories throughout the day without counting calories and controlling portion sizes.
Researches have shown that when people increase their dietary protein intake, they tend to consume fewer calories.
This calorie reduction works on a meal basis, as well as a controlled daily reduction in calorie intake provided protein intake is kept high.
When energy constitutes 30% protein in daily diet, it helps people to achieve reduction in total calorie intake. However, high protein diets not only have a important role in metabolism but also have an important role in maintaining satiety making it much easier to minimize calories compared to lower protein diets.
High-protein diets have capacity to make us feel full for a longer period compared to low protein diets This therefore makes it easier to limit calories on a high-protein diet.
Protein controls and Reduces binge snacking.
Food Cravings are the persons worst enemy.
Food cravings are of the of the important reasons why people tend to fail when they follow diets. People who have a tendency to gain weight experience cravings so they happen to snack, rather overeat. This snacking adds on extra calories with the total calories consumed throughout the day. Dietary proteins play a very important role in the body. Some of the important functions of protein include . synthesis of body proteins, controlling body temperature, controlling blood sugar levels and satiety. However these processes are most distinct when the protein intake is above the dietary reference intake.
People who follow a high-protein diet, with 30 % of the calories coming from protein, eat less compared to people who have a normal protein intake. Protein-rich foods include fish, chicken, beans, lentils, meat, eggs, dairy products ,etc. When we eat protein, its building blocks, called amino acids, need to get digested. A higher intake of protein increases the amount of amino acids in gut thereby increasing process of digestion, or oxidation, of the amino acids. This increased oxidation helps in boosting sensation of feeling full. (4)
Short-term satiety is also improved with meal that has a high protein content. Satiety is highly stimulated after consuming a high protein meal in comparison to low protein meals ,even if both high protein meal and low protein meal provide same amount of calories. This is because dietary protein stimulates secretion of satiety hormones that signal our brain that we are full(4).
After weight loss from an energy-restricted diet, enhancing the protein intake also increases the chance of maintaining the new body weight. Weight loss induces a decrease of energy expenditure, but an enhanced protein intake spares fat-free mass, which inhibits this decrease. A protein intake of more than 35 % of the total calorie intake has not been shown to give any additional effect. Remember to always try to eat well-balanced meals containing all macronutrients.
1) Dietary protein – its role in satiety, energetics, weight loss and health
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 August 2012 ,Margriet S. Westerterp-Plantenga , Sofie G. Lemmens and Klaas R. Westerterp
2) Revisiting the role of protein-induced satiation and satiety Author links open overlay P.MorellS.Fiszman
3) Recommended Dietary Allowances,NIN
4) Advanced Biochemistry, Dr Satyanarayan.
About the Author
Ms. Deepti Soudagar
B.Hsc (Food Science and Nutrition),
M.Hsc( Food science and Nutrition),CDE.