Background: Recent nutrition recommendations advocate a reduction in protein from animal sources (pork, beef) because of environmental concerns. Instead, protein from vegetable sources (beans, peas) should be increased. However, little is known about the effect of these vegetable protein sources on appetite regulation.
Objective: To examine whether meals based on vegetable protein sources (beans/peas) are comparable to meals based on animal protein sources (veal/pork) regarding meal-induced appetite sensations.
Design: In total, 43 healthy, normal-weight, young men completed this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, three-way, cross-over meal test. The meals (all 3.5 MJ, 28 energy-% (E%) fat) were either high protein based on veal and pork meat, HP-Meat (19 E% protein, 53 E% carbohydrate, 6 g fiber/100 g); high protein based on legumes (beans and peas), HP-Legume (19 E% protein, 53 E% carbohydrate, 25 g fiber/100 g); or low-protein based on legumes, LP-Legume (9 E% protein, 62 E% carbohydrate, 10 g fiber/100 g). Subjective appetite sensations were recorded at baseline and every half hour using visual analog scales until the ad libitum meal 3 h after the test meal. Repeated measurements analyses and summary analyses were performed using ANCOVA (SAS).
Results: HP-Legume induced lower composite appetite score, hunger, prospective food consumption, and higher fullness compared to HP-Meat and LP-Legume (p<0.05). Furthermore, satiety was higher after HP-Legume than HP-Meat (p<0.05). When adjusting for palatability, HP-Legume still resulted in lower composite appetite scores, hunger, prospective consumption, and higher fullness compared to HP-Meat (p<0.05). Furthermore, HP-Legume induced higher fullness than LP-Legume (p<0.05). A 12% and 13% lower energy intake, respectively, was seen after HP-Legume compared to HP-Meat or LP-Legume (p<0.01).
Conclusion: Vegetable-based meals (beans/peas) influenced appetite sensations favorably compared to animal-based meals (pork/veal) with similar energy and protein content, but lower fiber content. Interestingly, a vegetable-based meal with low protein content was as satiating and palatable as an animal-based meal with high protein content.
Keywords: ad libitum; appetite; dietary fiber; fullness; hunger; legumes.