Protein is big news. You’ll hear a lot about the benefits of protein – how it can help you lose weight, build muscle, and help keep you full. All these things can be true, but they aren’t always true. Especially when it comes to fullness. The fullness effects or satiating power of protein is very misunderstood and often misrepresented.
Protein can increase levels of satiety (feelings of fullness after eating).
Contrary to many food packages and internet protein lore, just any amount of protein won’t do the trick.
It takes 30 grams. Research shows us that you need to eat 30 grams of protein in order to start reaping the satiety enhancing effects of protein. Now it is still a mystery what in protein specifically triggers satiety, if it is just one thing, but we do know that one of the changes that occurs when you eat 30 grams (but not 10 grams, 20 grams, or 25 grams) of protein is a reduction in the hormone ghrelin.
Ghrelin is the hunger hormone.
More ghrelin = more hunger. When you hit 30 grams of protein, ghrelin levels decrease, and your satiety is increased as the hormone that was stimulating your hunger has been reduced.
How much is 30 grams of protein? Here are some examples…
- 4 oz cooked 95% lean ground beef
- 3.5 oz cooked chicken breast
- 4 oz cooked salmon
- 5 eggs
- 1lb black beans
- 9 oz cottage cheese
- 10.5 oz Greek yogurt
Next time you sit down to eat a meal, make sure that it contains 30 grams of protein so that you can actually reap the benefits of the satiating power of protein.