Have Protein at Every Meal

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern


Have you ever eaten a meal and not too much later you’re already feeling hungry again? You might think this is odd because you ate a substantial amount of food yet you still feel like you could eat more. This feeling is the result of not getting enough protein in your previous meals.

Protein is such an important macronutrient for so many reasons and promoting fullness is a big one!

According to registered dietician Jana DeMoss, protein is an essential macronutrient. In fact, every cell in our bodies contains protein, and the protein that we consume is used to repair cells, make new cells, and also promote growth and development. Another job that protein has is to reduce the hunger hormone ghrelin and increase the fullness hormone peptide YY.

Since protein is used so much in our bodies, its crucial that we get enough of it in our diets each day. If we don’t, our bodies will never feel fully satisfied, causing us to turn to easy snacks and other foods, which are often a carb source, to try and combat that hunger. DeMoss says that the way to stop this cycle of eating, not feeling satisfied, eating more, and still not feeling satisfied, is to make sure that you  include at least 30 grams of protein in each meal, and have some protein with each snack as well.

When it comes to sources of protein, there are so many options available, many of which we produce right here in Arizona! Consider adding beef, pork, poultry, seafood, nuts, beans, eggs, and dairy products to your diet for a healthy boost of protein!

For some delicious recipes that are high in protein and for tips on where to get high quality protein sources from Arizona, check out the Fill Your Plate recipe section!

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