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Protein is the Key to Weight Loss October 12, 2011

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Science.
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Researchers at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia have found that a larger percentage of protein in a diet is correlated to consuming fewer calories overall, and that lowering the protein intake raised the total energy intake 12%—enough to confound any dieter, I should think.  This has been intuitively obvious to me for years, but it’s nice to see a controlled double-blind study confirm it.  It’s why I don’t gain weight on a steady diet of McDonald’s—I just stay away from the non-meat offerings.

“Our aim was to test the ‘protein leverage hypothesis’ in lean humans by disguising the macronutrient composition of foods offered to subjects under ad libitum feeding conditions. Energy intakes and hunger ratings were measured for 22 lean subjects studied over three 4-day periods of in-house dietary manipulation. Subjects were restricted to fixed menus in random order comprising 28 foods designed to be similar in palatability, availability, variety and sensory quality and providing 10%, 15% or 25% energy as protein. Nutrient and energy intake was calculated as the product of the amount of each food eaten and its composition. Lowering the percent protein of the diet from 15% to 10% resulted in higher (+12±4.5%, p = 0.02) total energy intake, predominantly from savory-flavored foods available between meals. This increased energy intake was not sufficient to maintain protein intake constant, indicating that protein leverage is incomplete. “

Gosby AK, Conigrave AD, Lau NS, Iglesias MA, Hall RM, et al. (2011) Testing Protein Leverage in Lean Humans: A Randomized Controlled Experimental Study. PLoS ONE 6(10): e25929. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025929

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