Appetite is a signal that it is time to eat, and eating until satisfied is part of mindful eating.
But if you find yourself feeling hungry an hour after a meal, it might be time to look at what you are eating. Not just quantity, but types of foods.
I have written about this topic before but decided to search the literature for updates. An article from 2019 Clinical Nutrition Experimental confirms that a higher protein breakfast increases levels of the satiety hormone Peptide YY (PPY).
The study recruited 30 healthy men and women between 19 and 50 years of age. The subjects came to the lab fasting. They were given either a high protein breakfast ( 21 grams) of eggs, yogurt, turkey, cucumber and an apple or a high carbohydrate breakfast (10 grams of protein) of a dough pie, cucumber and an apple.
Both breakfasts had 400 calories. Blood was collected at 30, 60 and 120 minutes after breakfast.
At 120 minutes, the group eating the high protein breakfast had a higher blood level of PPY. Hormone PPY reduces appetite. Compared to the high protein breakfast, subjects who had the high carbohydrate breakfast reported more hunger and less satiety.
This is a small study of one meal but it does build on previous research. We are spending more time at home with greater food availability. Adding protein foods seems a simple solution for taming an excessive appetite.
Greek yogurt, eggs, tofu, or low-fat cottage cheese can be the base for a higher protein breakfast. Add on walnuts or almonds, peanut butter or quinoa for a protein boost.
A spinach omelet with 1 egg and 2 egg whites, a slice of whole wheat bread with peanut butter and 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt with ¼ cup of walnuts and blueberries comes to 35 grams of protein and about 350 calories. Satisfaction guaranteed.
Sheah Rarback MS, RDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist in private practice in Miami.