How do meat-free meals affect your mood and fullness?

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A big team of brain scientists has looked at whether eating meals without meat can change how full and happy you feel.

They have just published their results in a science magazine. Let’s take a closer look at their findings.

The Big Question

There is a growing trend towards plant-based diets and for good reason. Studies show that if we stop eating animal products like meat and milk, we can cut down a lot of harmful gases that are bad for our planet.

But there is one question that has not been fully answered: How do these meat-free meals affect us?

Evelyn Medawar, a scientist who studies how food affects our decisions, led a team at a brain research institute in Germany.

She wanted to understand what happens in our bodies after we eat a meal without meat, compared to one with meat. She also wanted to know who would choose which meal in the cafeteria.

“We know that foods with lots of fiber can help signals between our gut and brain,” Evelyn says. “So, we thought that a meal without meat might make us feel more full and happy than a meal with meat.”

How the Study Worked

To find out, Evelyn and her team organized a big study across Germany. They got more than 16,300 adults to join in at over 400 university cafeterias.

These participants used a phone app called iMensa to rate the taste of different meals. They also used this app to say how full and happy they felt before and after eating their meal.

What Did They Find?

The results were interesting. It didn’t matter whether the meal had meat or not — eating any meal made people feel more full and happy.

However, there was a slight difference. “People who chose a meal without meat felt a bit happier before the meal.

They also didn’t get as much of a mood boost after the meal, compared to people who ate a meal with meat,” says Evelyn.

The amount of protein in the meal had a small effect on how full people felt afterward. But the most important things that affected fullness and mood were a person’s gender and how tasty the meal was.

More women and a variety of individuals chose meals without meat. Also, meals without meat were more often eaten alone.

This could be why these meals didn’t boost our mood as much, as sharing a meal with others can make us feel happier.

The Conclusion

So, what’s the takeaway? “We didn’t find big differences between meals with meat and meals without meat in terms of fullness and mood,” Evelyn sums up.

She also found that a lot of meals chosen in the cafeterias were meat-free. Of all the meals chosen, 55% had meat and 45% were vegetarian or vegan.

This means that there is a lot of demand for meals without meat in German canteens. However, these meals need to taste better and have more protein.

The Bigger Picture

This study was large and included many people. It gave us a good idea of how meals without meat can affect our mood and fullness. It also gave us a good idea of how popular these meals are in German cafeterias.

However, the study also showed that there is room for improvement. The taste and protein content of meals without meat could be better.

This could make these meals more appealing to more people and could help even more people enjoy the benefits of a diet without meat.

So, next time you’re thinking about what to eat, consider trying a meal without meat.

Not only might it be better for the environment, but it might also be just as satisfying and mood-boosting as a meal with meat. But remember, the tastier it is, the more full and happy you’ll feel afterward.

If you care about weight management, please read studies about diets that could boost your gut health and weight loss, and 10 small changes you can make today to prevent weight gain.

For more information about weight loss, please read studies that avocado could help you lose weight and belly fat, and a keto diet for weight loss can cause flu-like symptoms.

The study was published in npj Science of Food.

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