Tout sur l'alimentation végétale

Tips for Feeling Full on a Vegetarian Diet

Are you a vegetarian or vegan? If so, chances are you’ve already noticed that you feel hungry more quickly than usual? It’s normal to wonder about this, because not all foods have the same satiating power! Did you know that there is a satiety index? To prevent you from eating everything that comes your way, here are several tips to increase your satiety level that will be very useful in your new lifestyle!

How to Reduce Your Appetite?

If you’re wondering how to get rid of your cravings, first ask yourself why you’re having these cravings. There may be many reasons, especially if you have recently changed your diet.

First, if you’ve cut back on animal protein, you may not have adequately replaced your protein sources with equally satisfying foods.

Secondly, instead of making sure that you increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, you may have turned to processed foods that are low in dietary fibre and protein. If, on the other hand, you’ve increased your intake of fruits and vegetables a lot, but have cut back on your fat sources at the same time, you may also be hungry.

  • Did you know that...

    Fruits and vegetables are mostly made up of water? Once this water is absorbed, these foods will not satisfy you for long, even if you eat a lot of them!

Finally, if you are deficient in iron, which is found mostly in animal products, you may still feel like eating! There is a link between iron and leptin, one of the satiety hormones. If your heme iron intake (which is more easily absorbed) has been reduced lately, your leptin production may also be reduced, increasing your appetite.

All About the Satiety Index

Not all foods are equal in terms of satiety! In fact, the satiety index is a scale used to determine the satiety provided by certain foods.

In order to build this guide, foods are compared according to a fixed amount of calories (240 to be exact!). Then, the satiety of the participants in the study is measured every 15 minutes. Foods that provided a longer satiety than white bread (rated at 100) had a higher score, while foods that provided a shorter satiety than the reference food had a score below 100.

  • For example, a boiled potato scores 323 on the satiety index scale, compared to a croissant, which scores 47. In this case, boiled potatoes will satisfy you longer than a croissant, for the same calories.

Quelques exemples d'aliments pro-satiété

Aliments protéinésFruitsProduits céréaliers
LentillesBananesPâtes brunes
FromageRaisinsPains à grains entiers
OeufsPommesGruau d'avoine
Légumineuses cuitesOrangesMaïs éclaté

Eat More Protein

Protein has a direct effect on hunger and satiety! Protein interacts with your body’s hormones. If you are new to vegetarianism or veganism, you may not know where to find plant-based protein to ensure you meet your daily needs!

Hunger Hormones and Protein

Protein has a direct effect on hunger hormones. In fact, satiety hormones (GLP-1, PYY, CCK) are secreted in the presence of protein in your digestive system. The reverse is also true: ghrelin, one of the hunger hormones, is secreted less when you eat protein!

Hunger-Fighting Protein Foods

If you’re looking for protein sources in your new diet, here are some ideas:

In legumes: White beans, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, peanuts…

In soy products: Tofu, edamame, tempeh, soy beverages…

In cereals and pseudo-cereals: Quinoa, oats, millet, wheat gluten…

Eat More Fiber for More Benefits!

Fiber increases the secretion of satiety hormones, like protein. In addition, fiber increases the transit time of food through the digestive system, thereby increasing satiety and satisfying you longer after a meal.

Examples of Foods Rich in Dietary Fiber

All fruits and vegetables contain varying amounts of fiber. Adding them to every meal can make it easier to meet your daily fibre needs!

  • We love nuts!

    Remember that nuts contain dietary fiber AND protein, which makes them a great two-for-one, just like legumes!

Whole grain products are also good sources of fibre. For example, wheat bran contains about 48 g of fibre per 100 g serving, compared to only 3 g for the same amount of bread or white rice!

Increase Your Sources of Healthy Fats

The last nutrient you should include more in your diet is fat. Fat takes a long time to digest, making you feel fuller for longer. But not just any fat! Choose sources of unsaturated fats. These are found naturally in avocados, various oils (avocado, sunflower, corn) or nuts.

  • Have you ever heard of vegenaise?

    This is the vegan version of mayonnaise! You can even cook it yourself, using soy milk, mustard, oil, lemon juice and salt!

General tips for increasing satiety

Here are some easy habits to incorporate into your daily routine to increase your satiety level:

  • Eat when you’re hungry and listen to your body’s signals (e.g., tummy rumbling, fatigue);
  • Eat sitting at the table, without distractions and slowly;
  • Avoid ultra-processed foods, which are low in nutrition, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

All in all, keep in mind to have balanced meals, containing protein and fiber! These two nutrients are essential to increase your satiety levels.