“So how do you keep fuller for longer on a plant based diet?” This is a question that I’m asked regularly. “Surely eating just vegetables and fruit doesn’t fill you up or give you that satisfied feeling after eating meat?”
To keep your tummy feeling fuller for longer research has shown that you need to fill it with starches that will fill you up with a fraction – one fourth of the calories of cheese, meat and oil.
Eating fats in a meal are pretty much pointless as they have little impact on satiety and leave you feeling that you need to eat more. Often much more and this is when you start piling on the pounds.
Starches like corn, beans, potatoes and rice are brimming with carbohydrates, dietary fiber and are very low in fat whereas red meat, chicken and fish have no carbohydrates and leave you with a tummy that’s full but you’ll still feeling hungry.
Eating starches will help you to lose excess body fat, blood flow will be improved to all your tissues and your skin will glow from improved circulation.
Once you lose weight you’ll have more energy and you’ll become more active and agile. You’ll feel years younger!
So the secret to feeling fuller for longer is to make a starch the centre of every meal instead of meat, chicken, fish or dairy.
Don’t worry about the sugars in starches being converted into fat that’s stored on your hips, tum, bum and thighs. As you’ve read in last weeks blog post this isn’t true. If you eat too many carbs than your body needs your clever, amazing body will simply store these calories, about two pounds, invisibly as glycogen in the muscles and liver.
Anything more and your body burns them off as heat.
Always remember that we’re talking about complex carbohydrates found in starches and not the refined carbs. Stay clear of anything that’s processed or been refined.
Here’s a list of the good starches you should try eating at every meal time. Try to make starches at least 75 to 85 percent of your diet, with the rest coming from fruits and vegetables.
1. I love whole grains and eat them at pretty much every meal. I usually have oats for breakfast, brown rice for lunch and quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”) for dinner, but there’s loads more including barley, buckwheat, rye, bulgur (cracked wheat), wheat berries, corn, wild rice and millet.
2. If like me you like baking your own bread, (in a machine I may add! :)) try using these unrefined flours to make a flavoursome bread with just yeast and water – whole wheat, oat, barley, rice, buckwheat, rye, corn and potato.
3. I eat whole wheat pasta nearly every week either for lunch or dinner with a rich tomato sauce, but there’s lots of other pastas that are egg free including artichoke pasta, tomato pasta, corn pasta (no wheat), spinach pasta and rice pasta (no wheat).
Try to steer clear of Asian noodles as a lot of them are created using very refined flours. They include: somen, buckwheat soba, udon and rice noodles.
4. Have you thought of trying roots? They can make an amazing centre piece if you’re having friends or family round for dinner. Here’s a few to try: burdock, sweet potatoes, celeriac (celery root) (great in soup), tapioca, Jerusalem artichoke (tastes amazing when roasted with garlic and rosemary), taro root, jicama, water chestnuts (great in stir-frys), parsnips (check out my recipe for spicy parsnip soup here), white potatoes, rutabaga and yams.
You can also try carrots (check out my carrot soup here), beets, turnips, daikon, and salsify. They’re all very tasty but are low in carbohydrates and calories and so try and use them as accompaniments to your meal rather than the centre piece.
What about Winter Squashes? They can also make a stunning centre piece for your meal. Try stuffing them or adding them to curries. Try butternut, acorn, Hubbard, banana, pumpkin, buttercup and turban squash.
5. Lovely legumes (beans, lentils, peas) are a great favourite of mine and I tend to eat these more than any other starch. I love red kidney, pinto, aduki and cannellini beans but there’s many more including chick peas, black, mung, fava (broad, navy, pink, great northern and limas.
This week’s recipe is loaded with Puy lentils, but I also eat, nearly every day, brown, red and green lentils. Check out this week’s recipe for Tasty Lentil Pie that will make a great Easter Sunday lunch main course. It’s made with Puy lentils and is packed with veg and served with lovely baby new potatoes, tender-stem broccoli and Cavolo Nero. An Italian dark leaved kale that has leaves that look like palm fronds rather than a head. It’s brimming with taste and goodness.
And lastly there’s peas, black-eyed, split yellow, split green and whole green. They’re great in soups, chillies and curries as well as own their own.
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But, I also want to finish off with a question that I’d like you to answer…
What do you think? How do you keep fuller for longer? Let me know what you think below.