Research: Beef may help reduce hunger and diet satisfaction

Research wordResearch word

Diet rich in food may promote satiety and weight loss.

Raw steak
Raw steak

Nearly on a daily basis people ask me if eating beef is healthy. Beef in moderation can be a healthy addition to any diet and it is a great source of iron, vitamins, and protein. Sure it is a source of saturated fat, but fat does not make you fat and it might not be as tied to heart disease as we once thought. In fact, beef miogth even help you lose weight.

A large study was published in 2017 looked at this very question and a new journal article from 2018​[1]​ used the same data from the Beef WISE Study (Beef’s Role in Weight Improvement, Satisfaction, and Energy) to look at the same question. The prior study indicated equivalent weight loss between two energy-restricted higher protein diets. One of the diets has 4 or more serving of lean red meat per week and the other has restriction to less red meet. The weight loss in both diets was similar with no significance between the two arms.

The second study used data to compare subjective ratings of appetite (hunger and fullness), food cravings, and diet satisfaction between the diets and determine whether these factors influenced weight loss. Subjective appetite, food cravings, and diet satisfaction ratings were collected by surveyt throughout the intervention, and body weight was measured at the baseline, after the weight loss intervention, and after an eight-week follow-up period.

Hunger and cravings were reduced during weight loss compared to the baseline, while fullness was not different from the baseline. The reduction in cravings was greater for beef. Subjects had higher deprivation ratings during weight loss with beef restriction. Participants in both groups reported high levels of compliance and diet satisfaction, but there was no difference between the two groups.

The bottom line: This study is promising but it is far from definitive. Long-term adherence to dietary prescriptions is critical for weight management but may be adversely affected by changes in appetite, food cravings, and diet satisfaction that often accompany weight loss. Higher baseline hunger and cravings should be associated with less weight loss, and greater diet compliance, diet satisfaction, and lower feelings of deprivation should be associated with greater weight loss. Further research is needed to confirm the results.

  1. [1]
    R. Sayer, J. Peters, Z. Pan, H. Wyatt, and J. Hill, “Hunger, Food Cravings, and Diet Satisfaction are Related to Changes in Body Weight During a 6-Month Behavioral Weight Loss Intervention: The Beef WISE Study,” Nutrients, p. 700, May 2018 [Online]. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu10060700
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About the Author

ChuckH
I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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