Outsmart Hunger #theproteineffect

It’s fairly common knowledge these days that protein makes us feel fuller because it takes longer to digest. I know that I try my best to get some at each meal and snack or else I get hungry.  Waking up with 3 young children I am often in a mad dash for breakfast. Cereal is definitely our most popular “quick-fix” breakfast for when we are running tight on time, but it’s not typically high in protein. I recently tried Special K’s new high protein cereal which has 10 grams of protein in 3/4 cup serving.

Some might preach that boxed cereal is not healthy but the truth is if you read your labels and look for the ones low in sugar, high and fiber and/or protein you can make some good choices in the cereal department. When my family does eat cereal we often add berries and nuts and this breakfast actually keeps us quite satisfied. This particular cereal definitely kept my morning hunger at bay.

This cereal from Special K has a nice crunchy texture and light cinnamon flavor, but not overpowering.  The point of making a high fiber cereal, which they do by the addition of soy protein, is to keep you satisfied. Bottom line: feel full longer and you won’t be heading to the vending machine at 10 am looking for some junk food to hold you over until your lunch break.  This is obviously very important especially for those watching their weight.

Not all cereal is as filling. When eaten alone carbohydrates leave the stomach most rapidly, followed by protein and then fat. However, in a mixed diet, emptying of the stomach is prolonged so you can actually feel more full by coming that protein with a grain.

I personally like simple cereal such as this one- flakes without a lot of added stuff. Then I can change the flavors by adding in bananas, nuts, raisins, dried cranberries, etc.

You be wondering:

Why not just eat eggs, tofu or nuts in the morning for more natural sources of protein? Well that would be great if you have time and/or taste buds for those types of foods. Not everyone does.

Cereal is still more processed that other protein options, why would you eat it?  It’s a quick-fix breakfast that is way healthier than driving through for a sausage egg biscuit sandwich.

Aren’t there better options for breakfast? Cereal (the right kind) is a whole grain. You can chose to pair it with fruit, nuts, dairy or a dairy-alternative and you it can create a balanced meal.

Shouldn’t I just be eating fruits and vegetables when I am hungry? In a perfect world, that would be ideal. As mentioned, protein takes longer to be digested. If you are not in a position to be eating every couple hours that you will want to look at a high protein source along with your fruits and veggies to keep you satisfied.

Question: what works for you to fight hunger? What are your favorite food combos to keep you energized?

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own

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  1. says

    Hi Melanie – I like that cereal too, berries make it better!
    Most mornings I make an omelet out of one egg + one white with a huge amount of veggies and my new favorite addition is turkey sausage crumbles because a VERY small amount adds a lot of flavor and little fat.
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    • Melanie Flinn, MS, RD says

      I love eggs in the morning too. They go so well with veggies and keep me full. :) Thanks for the comment!

  2. says

    Cereal is a great, quick breakfast, but I usually shy away from it because — like you said — it usually doesn’t keep me full for very long. I’m so glad I know about this cereal now; I’m definitely going to look for it when I go grocery shopping this week. It’ll be a nice change-up from my usual overnight oats that I woof down every morning!
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    • Melanie Flinn, MS, RD says

      Thanks for the comment Erica! I love hot cereal too but sometimes a bowl of cold cereal hits the spot.

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