Will I feel hungry on a vegetarian diet?

The instructor of our new online course, Foundations of Plant-Based Nutrition, Kayleen St. John tells us how we can be satisfied on a veg diet.
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The instructor of our new online course, Foundations of Plant-Based Nutrition, Kayleen St. John tells us how we can be satisfied on a veg diet.

“How can I survive eating only leaves every day?” “There is no way I could ever follow a plant-based diet; I’d always be starving!” “Whenever I eat salad, I’m hungry an hour later.”

These are all comments I’ve heard when discussing a plant-based lifestyle with large groups. A persistent myth about plant-centric diets is that eating plates full of green leafy vegetables will leave you feeling constantly hungry.

First, plant-centric diets are much more exciting than simply plates of green, leafy vegetables. 

And second, a balance of macronutrients should be consumed to make any meal more satiating. Complete and satisfying meals contain all three macronutrients; carbohydrates, protein and fat.  When a meal is missing a macronutrient, certain vitamins or minerals may be missing, but the meal is also less likely to leave an eater feeling contented and full. Absolutely, a plate of plain vegetables or undressed salads are considered unbalanced meals. If we complement a dry salad with beans (protein and carbs), an olive oil vinaigrette (fat), and a handful of crunchy seeds (protein and fat), then we have a complete, plant-based meal likely to leave an eater full and satisfied.

We asked our friends at the Natural Gourmet Institute to help debunk this and other vegetarian myths. Vegetarian Times has partnered with the renowned New York-based culinary school to create a comprehensive new online course, Foundations of Plant-Based Nutrition. Whether you’re a new vegetarian, an avid cook wanting to expand your skills, or contemplating a career in the food industry, you will find this course helpful. To learn more about balanced and satiating plant-based meals, join us for our online course, Foundations of Plant-Based Nutrition. Kayleen St. John is the Director of Nutrition at NYC’s Natural Gourmet Institute. Kayleen has a Master’s degree in clinical nutrition from NYU and is a registered dietitian. Her research examines the relationship between diet and inflammatory conditions.