Researchers at the University of Sydney have carried out the study and found that low protein in diets can lead to excessive energy intake and drive people to eat more snacks, the ‘PLoS ONE’ journal reported. On the contrary, they have found that enough protein in their diets help people in curbing appetites and preventing excessive eating of fats and carbohydrates. The results represent the first scientifically supported evidence that dietary protein plays an important role in appetite in humans, and are an important step in addressing the global obesity epidemic.
“Humans have a particularly strong appetite for protein, and when the proportion of protein in the diet is low this appetite can drive excess energy intake. Our findings have considerable implications for body weight management in the current nutritional environment, where foods rich in fat and carbohydrates are cheap, palatable, and available to an extent unprecedented in our history,” author Alison Gosby said. Protein is the driving force for appetite in many animals, say researchers.
Although it has previously been suggested that protein lays an important role in determining overall energy intake in humans, until now experimental verification was lacking.