Protein and appetite regulation
In the current abundance of food, the temptation to overeat is everywhere, making it difficult to control how much we eat and maintain a healthy body weight. There are numerous weight loss diets, yet hunger is the main reason why people fail to comply with them. Satiety is the feeling of fullness that suppresses appetite after eating. Thus understanding how to enhance satiety might help to control appetite and consequently body weight.
Why do some foods suppress hunger and increase satiety better than others?
Foods high in protein seem to keep us more satisfied compared with food high in carbohydrates or fat, yet it is not well established whether proteins from animal or plant origin such as chicken, dairy or beans and pulses differentially influence satiety.
The current study aims to investigate the impact of protein quality on measures of appetite and energy intake and secondary to explore the plausible mechanisms by the measurement of key gut hormones and peptides, which regulate appetite and are released in response to the digestion and absorption of nutrients.
The study will generate new knowledge on the satiating effect of protein and their impact on hormone response and exploit better understanding of the biological processes in the stomach and the brain that underpin what makes us feel ‘full’. Additionally, the technical innovations will provide guidance for industry for the development of foods that modify dietary habits and provide an alternative to medical weight management. It is anticipated to provide useful public health nutrition messages and the knowledge required for the development of innovative food products to help consumers deal with difficulties achieving successful weight management.
PI: Dr Dougkas