For gym junkies, their routine includes hitting the gym and then hitting the protein. And what more could a gym goer want than a nice red piece of meat after a hard day at the gym? Well, if you’re trying to get cut, you may want to rethink that choice.
According to a study conducted by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, that red meat you are reaching for could be making you reach for snacks later. Eating a diet high in iron, according to the study, can actually make you hungrier.
In the study, mice were all fed different level of iron diets for two months. The trial revealed that mice following the high-iron diet had a 115% increase in the amount of iron in their fat tissue. The mice also had a decrease in leptin levels throughout their blood.
Lead researcher of the study, Don McClain, M.D., Ph.D. explains the outcome of the study: “We showed that the amount of food intake increased in animals that had high levels of dietary iron.” Basically, the more iron in your system, the less you will be able to detect if you are full. This in turn will lead to more food consumption, even if you may not really be hungry anymore.
This research has the potential to determine what the perfect range of iron tissue level is. “We don’t know yet what optimal iron tissue level is, but we are hoping to do a large clinical trial to determine if decreasing iron levels has any effect on weight and diabetes risk,” McClain said. “The better we understand how iron works in the body, the better chance we have of finding new pathways that may be targets for the prevention and treatment of diabetes and other diseases.”
So if you love red meat and find yourself with late-night cravings, you should probably put down the burger and try some healthy snacks instead.
Susan Bowerman, RD, assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition told Health Magazine her suggestion for snacks. For fat-burning, appetite-satisfying snacks, Bowerman suggests keeping it under 200 calories, with 10 grams of protein and close to 5 grams of fiber.
1. Fruit + Protein
Fruit is always a good snack option, but pairing fruit with a bit of protein will help the snack feel even more satisfying. A great option can be some fruit with cottage cheese. Try berries or pineapple for a healthy and satisfying combo.
2. Hard Boiled Eggs
Hard boiled eggs are a great on-the-go snack. An easy way to make sure that you never grab chips when hunger strikes is to keep some pre-peeled hard boiled eggs in your refrigerator. They are easy to make, and also prove to be a great source of protein. If you feel like you want to get in some carbs, you can put sliced egg on a piece of whole-wheat bread.
3. Hummus and Veggies
Hummus is a great snack that tastes good and is good for you. Pair it with some veggie sticks and you have a tasty snack that fills you up, and will not make you feel super full and bloated later.