Today vegetarians aren't the only group of consumers looking for foods that are meat-free and provide a satisfying meal. All types of consumers are looking to manage and maintain weight with plant-based meal options with ingredients such as protein isolates, whole legumes, whole grains and vegetables. A new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), found that a bean-based meal provided a similar feeling of fullness compared to a beef-based meal.
Researchers from the University of Minnesota had 28 participants (14 men and 14 women) consume two test lunches containing a "meatloaf" made from either beef or beans. The beef meal provided 26 grams of protein and three grams of fiber, while the bean meal provided 17 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber. Both meals were matched in weight, calories, and total fat. All the participants showed no difference in appetite ratings between the beef and bean meals over three hours. In addition they consumed the same amount of calories at the next meal eaten.
Protein is considered to be the number one nutrient that induces the feeling of fullness, with fiber coming in a close second. While protein intake releases appetite suppressing hormones, the beneficial effects of fiber on appetite and food include slowing down the digestion process and helping control blood sugar levels to increase the feeling of fullness for longer. The findings of this study support the idea that plant-based proteins with high fiber may offer similar appetite regulation as animal protein.