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  • Writer's pictureErick Rivas

Proteins and Fat: The Role They Play in Hunger

How often do you find yourself eating a meal and end up hungry just a short time later? This used to be a regular occurrence for me about 5 years ago. What changed for me? Well, I began to place an emphasis on the amount of protein and the amount of fat I was consuming with my meals. Prior to this I was on a low-fat diet because that is what the recommendation was [still is] to be “healthy,” and of course, I wanted to be healthy. What I didn’t know back then was how important these two macronutrients are for your overall health.

Fats are essential to achieve optimal health. They help with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fats are essential, for things like hormone function, brain function, and can promote a healthy weight. Now, fats are a staple in my diet and not a day goes by where I don’t consume a good amount of healthy fats.

Proteins are the building blocks of life. Protein is also crucial for achieving optimal health. Like fats, they also help in the production of hormones. Proteins also help build our skin, bones, and most importantly, our muscle. As we get older, it becomes even more important to make sure we are getting an adequate amount of protein. High quality protein, from a variety of sources, is now something that I prioritize as part of my nutrition.

An emphasis on both macronutrients has made a significant difference in how I feel, how I look, and how I perform. Most importantly though, I don’t find myself to be constantly hungry like I once was. Likely, this could be due to two different factors. First, fats contain 9 calories per gram and are the highest source of energy compared to the other macronutrients. This means that they take longer to digest and can therefore, keep you fuller longer. Second, when you eat whole foods, specifically high-quality protein, your body is receiving the nutrients that it needs to trigger your hunger hormones, ghrelin, and leptin, to their job. Hot Cheetos can’t do this! Trust me, I know from experience.

Ultimately, getting sufficient amounts of protein and fat could be what you need to keep you energized and full throughout the day. If you need help with implementing some dietary changes to regain your energy and curb your hunger, feel free to reach out.

Erick Rivas

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach



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