A meal of steak and potatoes might look more satiating than a three-bean salad, but a new study says it’s not. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Nutrition say eating beans and peas are more filling than a meat-based diet and can contribute to significant weight loss.
Many recent dietary trends push people towards a more meat protein-based diet to help with weight loss. But the study, published in the journal Food & Nutrition Research, says eating a vegetable-based protein diet is also recommended because meat production is a greater burden on our climate than vegetable cultivation.
Forty-three men in the study were served three different meals of patties — some consisted of beans/peas and others were filled with veal/pork. Research showed that when the participants ate the meal of beans and peas, they consumed 12 percent less calories in their next meal than when they ate the 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 head researcher, Professor Anne Raben of the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports.
The study also suggested that the beans and peas meal was as satiating and filling as the veal and pork protein meal.
“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,” said Professor Raben. “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.”