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Protein and Fullness

Andréanne Tremblay-Lebeau

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Healthy eating:

Registered Dietitian

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Having a big appetite can make life a tad difficult, especially when you’re watching your weight and trying to eat reasonably. I mean, who hasn’t splurged a little over the holidays or on the weekend with friends? Giving in is normal and okay, as long as you can keep it to the occasional splurge. If you have a hard time controlling yourself on a daily basis, some foods, like Greek yogurt, can help set you straight. Let me explain how.

Hunger and satiety are signs our body sends us to let us know it needs energy or has had enough. When it needs energy, it sends us hunger signs, which we can satisfy with healthy foods. Satiety, on the other hand, helps us to determine when we’ve eaten enough for your needs.

Not all foods have the same impact on our sensation of fullness. In fact, it’s mostly the nutrients they contain that determine how full we feel. Protein, for example, is more filling than carbohydrates and lipids. What does that mean exactly? Well, that protein allows us to eat less. It also keeps hunger at bay between meals and snacks. Some studies suggest that not all protein sources are created equally. Milk protein, for example, can help control hunger and limit your food intake. It also helps maintain lean muscle mass.

Because of the way it’s made, Greek yogurt contains twice as much protein as regular yogurt. It’s therefore a very interesting food to integrate into your diet—the protein it contains means you eat less and it keeps you fuller longer after a meal or snack. Try it for breakfast with fruit and a bit of homemade granola, finish your meal with a Greek yogurt for dessert or have it as a snack with a piece of fruit when you get the munchies.

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