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Mixed Meals ~ What they are & Why we do them.


Nothing fancy to see here just eating mixed meals that suit my goals.


Generally when meal building I often recommend that most of my health and or weight loss focused clients eat regular mixed meals.


Mixed meal = meal containing protein, carbs fats and fibre.


The meal here for example is~


Protein - chicken breast.

Carbs - rice, mushrooms, broccoli.

Fats - the cooking oil and avocado.

Fibre - avocado and the veg.


My reasoning for this is largely down to satiety. After eating food it takes a while to leave our stomach (between 2-6 hours) and head to the intestines. When it’s in our stomach we are likely to feel more satiated. How quickly or slowly it leaves the stomach (gastric emptying) is mediated by the macronutrient composition of the meal.


Carb and protein rich foods appear to empty at roughly the same rate but high fat foods slow gastric emptying. Complex carbohydrates tend to be slower moving as are foods containing fibre, in particular soluble fibre.


Thus combining proteins with some complex carbs, fats and dietary fibre (could we within the complex carbs or fruit/ veg) looks like a wise idea when aiming to feel satisfied after a meal for a substantial amount of time until the next meal. This can help with making dieting feel a whole lot more manageable.


Other perks of consuming mixed meals:

Glycemic response to carbohydrates is lessened (not important for everyone but potentially for some).

It looks nice on the plate.


On the flip side if trying to increase hunger then not eating mixed meals or eating meals low in fibre, fat and complex carbs may a more helpful route for a goal.


A pre or post exercise meal for an athlete may be another example of where fat, fibre, and complex carb content of a meal may be intentionally reduced for faster movement of the food through the digestive system in order for nutrients to reach the bloodstream more quickly.


Refs:

Gropper, S., Smith, J. and Carr, T. (2017). Advanced nutrition and human metabolism. 7th ed.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1365-2036.2011.04609.x