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October 9, 2015 | 2 minute read

Study: Vegetarian Meatloaf Just as Satisfying- and a Bonus for Cancer Prevention

Vegetarian Lentil LoafA fiber-rich bean-based meal can be just as satisfying as a protein-rich beef-based meal, according to a recent short-term study, published in the Journal of Food Science. The findings are good news if you want to cut back on red meat and up your fiber intake – both recommendations for cancer prevention.

This early study included 28 healthy adults (50% women) who consumed 2 “meatloaf” test meals on separate visits matched for portion size, calorie, and total fat content.

  • Meal one was a high protein beef meatloaf, about one-half the daily value of protein (26 grams), and one-eighth the daily value fiber (3 grams).
  • Meal two was a high fiber, moderate protein bean-based “meatloaf” – about one-third the daily value protein (17grams ), and half the daily value fiber (12 grams).

Researchers compared the effect of both meals on reported hunger, satiety, and fullness, as well as calorie intake at later meals.

Source: Bonnema, A, et al., The Effects of a Beef-Based Meal Compared to a Calorie Matched Bean-Based Meal on Appetite and Food Intake. Journal of Food Science, 2015

Source: Bonnema, A, et al., The Effects of a Beef-Based Meal Compared to a Calorie Matched Bean-Based Meal on Appetite and Food Intake. Journal of Food Science, 2015

No differences were reported for appetite ratings or food intake later in the day. Interestingly, participants also reported similar visual appeal, smell, and taste acceptance between the two meals. Those who ate the bean loaf did report more frequent gas and bloating.

We know from AICR’s evidenced-based recommendations, that increasing intake of plant foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes such as beans can reduce the risk of many cancers. These same recommendations suggest additional protection from decreasing the amount of animal products we eat, especially red and processed meats. When it comes to colorectal cancer for example, diets high in red and processed meats are associated with increased risk, while foods containing fiber are shown to lower risk.

This study suggests that you can be just as satisfied consuming plant foods while also lowering your risk of cancer.

Make up a batch of AICR’s Chipotle Black Bean Burgers and see for yourself how delicious and satisfying meatless meals can be. Substituting beans or lentils for beef in a meatloaf or burger is just one way to include more plant foods in your diet. For more ideas check out AICR Healthy Recipes page.

This study was funded by the Minnesota Beef Council.

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