A new study published inFood & Nutritionsuggests meals based on vegetable protein sources such as beans and peas may be more satiating than meals based on animal protein sources such as pork and veal.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, three-way, cross-over meal test, researchers from the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, gave 43 healthy and normal-weight young men three different meals of patties that contained either high proteins based on veal and pork meat, high protein based on legumes (beans and peas), or low-protein based on legumes.

Before and every half hour after, researchers recorded each participant's appetite sensations using visual analog scales until the ad libitum meal 3 hours after the test meal.

At the end of the study, researchers found high-protein legumes (beans and peas) induced a lower appetite score and participants even consumed 12% fewer calories in their next meals than if they had eaten a meat-based 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," said Anne Raben, head researcher and professor at the University of Copenhagen's Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports. “It is somewhat contrary to the widespread belief that one ought to consume a large amount of protein because it increases satiety more. 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.”

Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 12/19/16