The next time you’re itching for a pork breakfast sausage, why not reach for a fava bean patty instead? According to a study by researchers from Denmark, you’ll be just as full. Plus, you’ll eat less later.
The researchers investigated whether vegetable proteins are as satisfying as meat proteins by giving subjects a breakfast that consisted of either veal and pork patties or either high- or low-protein fava bean patties. (The high-protein patties were all bean, while the low-protein patties included potatoes.)
Subjects who ate the high-protein patties were more full and subsequently ate less than subjects in either of the other groups. On the negative side, the subjects who ate the high-protein patties found the meal less palatable, were much thirstier, and rated their overall well-being as lower than subjects in the other groups.
Interestingly, the low-protein vegetable meal was “both as satiating and as palatable” as the high-protein meat meal.
The authors note that the high satiety ratings for the high-protein meal could be because it contained more fiber than the meat meal.
Overall, this study was important because it showed that vegetable proteins can be just as filling as meat proteins, using real foods that people could conceivably eat outside the laboratory. That’s good news for food sustainability as well as for people looking to cut their meat intake for health reasons.