Snacks Against Obesity, Part 3: How Plant Protein Defeats Obesity

High-protein foods are processed in the body more slowly than other foods, preventing sharp blood sugar dips (and accompanying hunger), while the body requires more calories to digest protein. Get any 3 high-fiber snacks from the list below and feel significantly better .
 
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Protein is built from building blocks called amino acids. Our bodies make amino acids in two different ways: from scratch, or by modifying others. A few amino acids (known as the essential amino acids) must come from food and can't be produced by the body. 

Animal sources of protein tend to deliver all the amino acids we need. Plant protein sources may lack one or more essential amino acids, which means you need to eat a variety of protein-containing foods.

How Does Plant Protein Defeat Obesity?

First, why protein? 

  • High-protein foods move more slowly from the stomach to the intestine. When your stomach empties more slowly, it means you feel full for longer and become hungry after more time has passed.
  • Protein’s gentle, steady effect on blood sugar prevents sharp blood sugar dips (and accompanying hunger) that often occur after eating rapidly digested carbohydrates, like white bread or baked potato.
  • The body spends more calories in order to digest protein than it does to digest fat or carbohydrate.

Second, why plant protein?

Some high-protein foods are healthier than others because of what comes along with the protein: healthy fats or harmful ones, beneficial fiber or hidden salt.

  • For example, a 6-ounce broiled porterhouse steak is a great source of protein—about 40 grams worth. But it also delivers about 12 grams of saturated fat. For someone who eats a 2,000 calorie per day diet, that’s more than 60 percent of the recommended daily intake for saturated fat.
  • A 6-ounce ham steak has only about 2.5 grams of saturated fat, but it’s loaded with sodium—2,000 milligrams worth, or about 500 milligrams more than the recommended daily sodium maximum.
  • Alternatively, plant proteins come with antioxidants, fiber, minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals, and have virtually no saturated fat or sodium, cholesterol, added hormones or antibiotics.

Third, how does plant protein impact weight management?

  • Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health followed the diet and lifestyle habits of 120,000 men and women for up to 20 years and found that plant protein may also help with weight control.
  • Those who ate more red and processed meat over the course of the study gained more weight, about one extra pound every four years, while those who ate more nuts over the course of the study gained less weight, about a half pound less every four years.
 
  How Plant Protein Helps Microbiome (our 2nd immune system) - to fight diet related diseases

How Plant Protein Helps Microbiome (our 2nd immune system) - to fight diet related diseases

 

How much plant protein do you need?

The FDA recommended daily allowance of protein is 46 grams per day for women over 19 years of age, and 56 grams per day for men over 19 years of age.

Most Americans get 88 g of protein per day, which is far more than enough protein.

However, the majority, 70 percent, comes from animal sources. 

Fiber and Protein in the Top 20 Most Purchased Snacks

Ok, now that we understand what nutrients we need, let’s see, which snacks are best?

PLANETARIANS Chief Mixologist, Anastasia Tkacheva helped me make the table below, that has the protein and fiber content in the most popular snacks today. Which one has the most protein? Which one has the most fiber? Which one has both? 

Brand Protein Fiber Main Ingredient Secondary Ingredients Cooking Method
Angie’s BOOM-CHICKAPOP 3g 4g Popcorn Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt Popped
Beanfields 5g 6g Black beans, Navy beans Organic Brown Rice, Sufflower or Sunflower Oil, Seasoning blend Baked, then fried
Beanitos 5g 3g Whole Black Beans, Whole Grain Long Brown Rice and/or Long Grain White Rice Sunflower Oil, Long Grain Rice Flour, Sea Salt. Baked, then fried
Farmhouse Culture 2g 2g Sauerkraut (green cabbage, water, sea salt), corn flower Vegetable Oil (Canola, Sunflower and/or Safflower and/or red palm olein), brown rice flower Fried
Food Should Taste Good 2g 2g Stone Ground Corn High Oleic Sunflower Oil and/or Safflower Oil and/or Canola Oil, Brown Rice Flour, Flax Seeds, Cane Sugar, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Quinoa Baked
Garden of Eatin 2g 2g Organic Corn Expeller Pressed oil Fried
Garden Veggie Straws 1g <1g Potato Starch, Potato Flour, Corn Starch Flavors, Canola and Safflower Oil Extruded
Hardbite 2g 4g Vegetable, (Sweet Potato) Non-hydrogenated sunflower oil and/or non-hydrogenated canola oil, sea salt. Fried
Harvest Snaps 5g 3g SnapPeas, Lentil Bean, Black Bean Vegetable Oil (Canola, Sunflower and/or Safflower Oil), Rice, Yeast Extract, Maltodextrin Baked
Hippeas 4g 3g Organic ChickPea Flour Organic Rice Flour, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Tapioca Starch, Organic Seasoning Extruded
Kettle 3g 2g Potato Safflower and/or sunflower and/or canola oil, organic whey powder, flavors Fried
Late July 2g 2g Organic Yellow Corn Expeller Pressed Non-GMO Sunflower Oil and/or Expeller Pressed Non-GMO Safflower Oil, Flavors Spices Fried
Pirate's Booty 2g 1g Cornmeal Rice Flour, Sunflower Oil, Pressed Canola Oil Baked
PLANETARIANS 7g 4g Sunflower meal, 50% Brown Rice Flour (30%), Non-GMO Tapioca starch (10%), Sunflower oil (10%), Non-GMO Natural Seasoning Extruded
PoP ChipsPotato 1g 0g Potato with a dash of the good high oleic oils Right spices and seasonings Popped
Siete 1g 2g Coconut Flour Avocado Oil Baked
Skinny Pops 2g 3g Corn kernel Sunflower Oil, Salt. Popped
Stacy's Pita Chips 3g 3g Real Pita Bread; Enriched Wheat Flour Sunflower, Canola Oil, Organic Cane Sugar, Flavors Twice Baked
SunChips 2g 2g 100% Whole Grain Whole Corn, Sunflower and/or Canola Oil, Brown Rice Flour, Whole Oat Flour Fried
SunChipsVeggie Harvest 3g 2g Real Veggies and Whole Grains Dried Veggies, Sunflower and/or Canola Oil, Brown Rice Flour Fried
Terra 1g 3g Exotic Vegetables; Real Whole Vegetables Expeller pressed canola oil and/or safflower oil and/or sunflower oil, sea salt, beet juice concentrate (for color). Fried
Way Better 1-2g 3 g Organic Whole Ground Corn, High Oleic Sunflower Oil Sprouted Seed, Bean, and Grain Blend (Sprouted Black Beans, Organic Sprouted Flax Seed, Sprouted Quinoa), Organic Onion, Organic Garlic, Sea Salt. Baked and then Fried Short Time

Source: USDA National Nutrient Database, PLANETARIANS.

Want to test it? Challenge yourself!

1. Choose any 3 snacks.

2. Make sure that they total:

  • 25g (for women), 38g (for men of fiber
  • 46g (for women), 56g (for men) of plant protein
  • 100-250 calories per snack

3. Have these 3 snacks between meals within a day (meals do not matter).

4. Let us know in the comments to this post if you feel better the next day.

If so, consider supporting PLANETARIANS efforts to make the ultimate snack against obesity: our sunflower chips have more fiber per serving than many veggies, and more protein by weight than meat!

Aleh Manchuliantsau