Washington: Protein-rich meals may help dieters shed extra kilos by making them feel fuller, according to researchers, including one of Indian-origin.
The recent popularity of lowcarb, high-protein diets can partially be attributed to the fact that dieters often feel fuller when protein intake is high, even if they are consuming fewer calories overall.
Researchers, including Jaapna Dhillon from the Purdue University in US, conducted a systematic review of the evidence on the effect of protein intake on perceived fullness and confirmed that protein does, in fact, make us feel fuller. "Protein activates satiety hormone release and so should be most strongly tied with fullness ratings," said lead investigator Richard D Mattes. The researchers used a variety of statistical approaches to make sense of the data.
The analysis indicated that higher protein loads have a greater effect on fullness than lower protein loads. With the confirmation that protein intake is related to satiety, defined as fullness between meals, modestly higher protein intake may allow individuals to feel fuller between meals.
Yet, while protein may help dieters feel fuller, it is by no means a magic bullet. "Feelings like hunger and fullness are not the only factors that influence intake. Anyone who has ever felt too full to finish their meal but has room for dessert knows this all too well," Mattes said. However, the researchers were not able to determine the exact amount of protein needed to prolong fullness.