Satiety and Weight Loss - Legumes vs Meat
Most understand the potential benefits of a protein-rich diet for weight loss and the prevention of age-related reductions in muscle mass. Some dietary plans state that lean animal protein is the best way to go for optimal benefits as they contain all of the essential amino acids and purportedly provide a greater sensation of fullness (satiety). However, new research from the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports suggests that meals based on legumes such as beans and peas can actually provide greater satiation following a meal than meats such as pork or veal.
In the study 43 young men were served meals in which they received a sandwich patty made of either beans/peas or pork/veal as a key component. The participants who ate the meals with the bean/pea patty experienced fullness for a longer period of time after the meal and consumed 12% fewer calories in their next meal. “The protein-rich meal composed of legumes contained significantly more fiber than the protein-rich meal of pork and veal, which probably contributed to the increased feeling of satiety”, according to the head researcher, Professor Anne Raben. She concluded, “…Now, something suggests that one can eat a fiber-rich meal, with less protein, and achieve the same sensation of fullness. While more studies are needed for a definitive proof, it appears as if vegetable-based meals – particularly those based on beans and peas – both can serve as a long term basis for weight loss and as a sustainable eating habit.”
Also, as practical considerations, vegetable-based protein is often a more maintainable choice long-term for the environment as well as the consumer’s wallet and overall health. It provides lower calorie but greater nutrient density. Consumers should look for smart ways to integrate these foods into their normal diet.