We’ve been recommending a high-protein, low-carb diet for years to help you lose weight while maintaining muscle. Now a study has discovered the “secret sauce” in protein that keeps you at a healthy body weight.
An amino-acid component of protein, phenylalanine, cuts appetite, according to researchers in the UK.
Scientists at Imperial College London examined the effect of phenylalanine on food intake and brain activity in mice. They found that it increased activation in a brain area involved in regulating appetite. The animals ate less after being given phenylalanine.[i]
Top 7 Food Sources of Phenylalanine
Phenylalanine is involved in other vital health functions besides appetite regulation. It helps create DNA and brain signaling molecules such as dopamine. And it is needed for your body to produce skin pigment.[ii]
Our bodies cannot manufacture phenylalanine. We must get it from food or through a supplement.[iii]
Most high-protein foods are also high in phenylalanine. Here seven foods that are concentrated sources of phenylalanine:[iv]
- Beef skirt steak, 2,297 mg per 6-ounce steak
- Chicken breast, 2,200 mg per 6-ounce breast
- Pork chops, 2,190 mg per 6-ounce chop
- Fresh tuna, 1,986 mg per 6-ounce filet
- Pumpkin seeds, 972 mg per 2-ounce serving
- Eggs, 668 mg per 2 eggs
- Caviar, 523 mg per 3 tablespoons
You can also get phenylalanine through supplements. You may not be able to find them in drug stores. But they are available online and at health food stores. They are often sold as “L-phenylalanine.”
Phenylalanine supplements are often used by Parkinson’s patients and people with the skin condition vitiligo.[v]
For weight loss, take 500 mg a day with a meal.
Another good way to get phenylalanine—along with the protein you need—is to take a whey powder protein supplement. But be sure to choose wisely. Many brands are loaded with artificial colors, sugar, soy, hydrolyzed protein, and artificial sweeteners.
To find a quality protein powder, look for these characteristics:
- No artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame)
- No added sugars
- From grass-fed cows not treated with pesticides or hormones
- Cold processed
- Medium (not long) chain fatty acids. This will make it easier to digest.
One more thing…
Instead of downing one big protein drink, make three smaller drinks and spread them throughout the day to quell your appetite.[vi]
Editor’s Note: If you’re trying to slim down, don’t fall for the calorie cutting myth. Calories don’t drive weight gain. Something else does. And it’s easy to control. Discover more by reading The Weight-Loss-for-Life Protocol.
It’s in Independent Healing, the monthly newsletter that deciphers the latest science to bring you unbiased medical information that can transform your health. Find out more HERE.