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CGally81

Good Protein Sources?

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Okay, I ate so much tuna fish that I got headaches from the mercury (I was eating 2 cans a day on average). So I need to lay off that for a while. But it was such a great source of protein, giving me nearly 100g in 2 containers!

Now I'm snacking on peanut butter a lot, which is protein and monounsaturated fat (the healthiest kind), but it doesn't seem to be as filling.

What else can I have for protein? My hunger seems to be higher when I don't have as much protein in the day, and I always have chicken with lunch and dinner often contains chicken or a hamburger (I cook them large!). What else can I have for protein that would help really curb this constant hunger? Nothing has protein quite like meat and fish, but are there other good sources? Should I just go to the grocery store and gets lots of chicken and have it with breakfast every day? I'm also going to try having eggs more often.

I'm going to try soy milk as a mild protein source, but it's just not the same. Any suggestions?

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Almonds are good

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I feel you - I've been struggling with hunger too, and I watch my weight like a hawk, so the two are not going together very well!

So far, what I've been doing that seems to help: I have hummus with either baked or fried corn chips OR celery. Add some black beans to your favorite salsa, and voila - a higher protein snack. I make ranch dip with tofutti sour cream substitute and eat that with raw broccoli. Chick peas w/gluten-free ranch dressing.

How about chicken cooked up, over salad? Or even just plain chicken breast? I cook up a lot of it on weekends and then make meals with it throughout the week.

I eat a lot of small meals throughout the day, as I am not as hungry that way.

I can't eat nuts or dairy, so these have been my solutions to find more protein.

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All fish is good. Just cook it yourself.

Beef, bison, goat, turkey, ostrich, chicken, pork, eggs

Nuts of all kinds

beans, lentils, soy, garbanzos, split peas

Spinach, mustard greens, some mushrooms, collard greens, cauliflower, milk

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From a blood sugar standpoint, most vegetarian source of protein count as carbs, not protein, although some sources may be converted to glucose slower than others. Tofu and some other soy products may be the one exception. That's not to say they wouldn't be a good choice. Moderation and balance are key and certainly slower, protein rich carbs are a better choice than refined carbs. Meats and eggs are the protein sources that have the least impact on blood sugar. What about deli ham, turkey, hot dogs, salami and the like? These are all portable too, as are hard boiled eggs. Personally, the milk alternatives do nothing for me other than hydrate me. Their composition is different from milk so they don't seem to work in the body the same way. Some are quite high in sugar and carbs.

Breakfast is a challenge isn't it! I too am challenged with getting my protein requirements at B. I have taken to baking bacon in large batches in the oven and storing it in a container in the fridge. Then either eating it cold or putting it between paper towels and briefly warming it in the microwave. I also sometimes broil fish. It's quick and doesn't require much thought or supervision when I'm sleepy. In Asian countries, many people have fish at breakfast. It's easily digested.

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keep in mind that your body can't handle a whole lot of protein at once - about 20-30g per meal is all it's going to really absorb. are you getting enough fat and COMPLEX carbs (and fiber) in each meal? a chicken breast may be high in protein, but it won't fill you up as well as half a chicken breast and half a sweet potato with olive oil on it.

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Hi CGally81

You clearly have a lot going on and it may take you awhile to get sorted out. I'm going to take sort of a different approach since I noticed that you've posted similar questions in several areas. With all the things you try it can be helpful to write down what you eat and how you react, because it's easy to forget and not be able to see patterns.

First it's important to make sure you are drinking enough water. The usual recommendation is 8 cups a day but I, for example, need 12 -16 so that's something you can look at.

The hunger could mean that your body is screaming for nutrients it hasn't been able to absorb - have you been checked for deficiencies and are you taking a good general multivitamin? Vitamin D and the B vitamins are common deficiencies with celiac - maybe you should look at supplementing those in particular.

Have you ever been tested for H. pylori? I found that one of my symptoms when I had that was hunger that remitted when I drank water with some baking soda mixed in.

I have much less hunger when I eat live culture yogurt so you might try that. People can react to different parts of milk. Active yogurt cultures or lactaid enzyme can digest the lactose if that is what you are sensitive to, cheeses are made using rennin which digests milk protein, so you might try those as alternatives.

You could also try smaller more frequent meals. I have sometimes gotten hungry when I ate too much - like it overstimulated my stomach - or too many vegetables, though that doesn't sound like your problem.

Finally, you mention being diagnosed as autistic and I seem to recall that there are often strong food preferences associated with that. You might benefit from talking to a good nutritionist, but I'm not sure how you would find someone helpful.

Hope this helps.

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Hi CGally81

You clearly have a lot going on and it may take you awhile to get sorted out. I'm going to take sort of a different approach since I noticed that you've posted similar questions in several areas. With all the things you try it can be helpful to write down what you eat and how you react, because it's easy to forget and not be able to see patterns.

First it's important to make sure you are drinking enough water. The usual recommendation is 8 cups a day but I, for example, need 12 -16 so that's something you can look at.

The hunger could mean that your body is screaming for nutrients it hasn't been able to absorb - have you been checked for deficiencies and are you taking a good general multivitamin? Vitamin D and the B vitamins are common deficiencies with celiac - maybe you should look at supplementing those in particular.

Have you ever been tested for H. pylori? I found that one of my symptoms when I had that was hunger that remitted when I drank water with some baking soda mixed in.

I have much less hunger when I eat live culture yogurt so you might try that. People can react to different parts of milk. Active yogurt cultures or lactaid enzyme can digest the lactose if that is what you are sensitive to, cheeses are made using rennin which digests milk protein, so you might try those as alternatives.

You could also try smaller more frequent meals. I have sometimes gotten hungry when I ate too much - like it overstimulated my stomach - or too many vegetables, though that doesn't sound like your problem.

Finally, you mention being diagnosed as autistic and I seem to recall that there are often strong food preferences associated with that. You might benefit from talking to a good nutritionist, but I'm not sure how you would find someone helpful.

Hope this helps.

I'll increase my water. I seem to keep forgetting to drink. It doesn't help with hunger so much as with headaches that I sometimes get from not drinking enough.

The overstimulate my stomach thing doesn't seem to be my problem. When I first got the hunger, it was even worse than it is now, and I was eating a lot every hour.

I was tested for only a few vitamins, like vitamin D, and nothing abnormal was found.

I have an endocrinologist appointment scheduled for... January 25. The earliest I could get. What a profession that must be. Supposedly there's a nutritionist there. I hope I get some help and some answers.

As for the H. pylori thing, I don't think so, because after searching for it and the symptoms, it doesn't sound like I have its symptoms at all.

The symptoms are "An ache or burning pain in your abdomen, Nausea, Vomiting, Frequent burping, Bloating, Weight loss", none of which I have. Did you lack those symptoms, but find out that you had H. pylori anyway? I wish the answer to my constant hunger was that simple.

It's been 4 and a half months now, and while there's improvement from when it started, it's like it went down and up and down and UP again. This is just unacceptable. I can't tolerate having to live like this!

keep in mind that your body can't handle a whole lot of protein at once - about 20-30g per meal is all it's going to really absorb. are you getting enough fat and COMPLEX carbs (and fiber) in each meal? a chicken breast may be high in protein, but it won't fill you up as well as half a chicken breast and half a sweet potato with olive oil on it.

Is that true? The 100g of protein from tuna translated to less than half that? I feel as if my body wants that 100g back, not just 30g.

I do get a lot of complex carbs, and a lot of fiber, definitely. I wish it helped more.

The good news, I suppose, is that after doing an accounting of the food I ate today, I think I may have eaten slightly less today than yesterday or two days ago, while experiencing a similar level of hunger throughout. I tried using different snacks than I normally do - relying on peanut butter more often, for instance, and less bananas. I realized that I didn't eat my gluten-free Chex today at all, and instead snacked on peanut butter at the time of day I'd normally be eating it. There MAY be hope yet. But it seems like my hopes keep getting dashed...

Blah... a treatment/cure can't come soon enough!

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Lots of great advice coming your way! I'm glad to hear that your meeting with an endocrinologist and will have access to a nutritionist. Based on actual nutritional needs you are getting WAY to much protein (as much as double too much). An excess of protein can be really hard on your system and cause further taxation of your already taxed system. The advice your getting on small frequent meals is right on, the fewer "larger" meals your making are not helping your situation. Keep a food journal for a few days before your doctors visit, not just logging down the main components of your meal but all of it, every bite snack and pinch. This can help you look at if your getting the right balance of carbs, protein and fats.

Good luck!

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Lots of great advice coming your way! I'm glad to hear that your meeting with an endocrinologist and will have access to a nutritionist. Based on actual nutritional needs you are getting WAY to much protein (as much as double too much). An excess of protein can be really hard on your system and cause further taxation of your already taxed system. The advice your getting on small frequent meals is right on, the fewer "larger" meals your making are not helping your situation. Keep a food journal for a few days before your doctors visit, not just logging down the main components of your meal but all of it, every bite snack and pinch. This can help you look at if your getting the right balance of carbs, protein and fats.

Good luck!

People were saying that increasing their protein helped, now you're saying that too much protein is bad?

Anyway, I do eat frequently. Breakfast. Early morning snack 1, 2, 3... lunch, afternoon snack 1, 2, 3, dinner, evening snack 1, sometimes 2...

It's horrible that I even HAVE to eat that often, but that's how bad the hunger is.

Right now, my muscles in my arms and legs feel really tight as if I'd just worked out... can't my body do other things with the food like, I dunno, store it, rather than transferring it to my muscles for whatever reason? Priorities!

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People were saying that increasing their protein helped, now you're saying that too much protein is bad?

Anyway, I do eat frequently. Breakfast. Early morning snack 1, 2, 3... lunch, afternoon snack 1, 2, 3, dinner, evening snack 1, sometimes 2...

It's horrible that I even HAVE to eat that often, but that's how bad the hunger is.

Right now, my muscles in my arms and legs feel really tight as if I'd just worked out... can't my body do other things with the food like, I dunno, store it, rather than transferring it to my muscles for whatever reason? Priorities!

To much of anything isn't good. You need a balance for nutrition to be complete. It was good that you added carrots to your diet but you need to add more veggies of different colors to bring up the nutrient levels. Your body is craving nutrients from food not calories. Make sure your meal contains at least 3 different colors. The dinner with fish, rice, applesauce and carrots would have more nutrients if you added green beans and switched the applesauce out for peaches, for example. If your meals are all one color you are not getting the nutrients your body is craving.

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I'm glad to see that you have an appointment with a nutritionist. Increased hunger can be a sign of overactive thyroid.

By any chance, are you already on thyroid supplement for underactive thyroid?

My experience was that, when I stopped eating gluten, my intestinal malabsorption improved (which is supposed to happen), and I then found out that prior to that, I had not been properly absorbing my thyroid supplement. My endocrinologist had been increasing my dosage every few months, but my TSH was still high--until I stopped eating gluten.

Then, because I was suddenly absorbing ALL of the higher dose of the supplement, my thyroid levels were TOO high, and I was hungry all the time, until my thyroid dose was appropriately lowered.

I am now on HALF of the amount of supplement I was taking before, with very stable T3, T4, and TSH levels.

And that's what I hope your endocrinologist will order for you: blood work testing for T3, T4, and TSH.

You may or may not have thyroid issues at this point. I don't know. The only way to find out is through blood tests. It would probably be a good idea to learn about thyroid issues, which are often seen in conjunction with celiac disease/gluten intolerance.

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To much of anything isn't good. You need a balance for nutrition to be complete. It was good that you added carrots to your diet but you need to add more veggies of different colors to bring up the nutrient levels. Your body is craving nutrients from food not calories. Make sure your meal contains at least 3 different colors. The dinner with fish, rice, applesauce and carrots would have more nutrients if you added green beans and switched the applesauce out for peaches, for example. If your meals are all one color you are not getting the nutrients your body is craving.

I take a multivitamin by Pioneer that has lots of minerals and nutrients in it. Someone here said it helped with her hunger. If my body wants nutrients, would that help? I take it every day. In fact, I stopped taking it for a week, last week, because I was having headaches and I thought they might have been caused by too much calcium (it was instead too much mercury from tuna fish every day). I'm wondering now if removing THAT is what spiked my hunger. That I removed a good source of minerals and nutrients (in addition to the tuna fish with its massive amounts of protein).

I sometimes see a reduction in hunger when I have a large BM, or at least a reduction in hunger pangs. That mean something? I've seen others say the same thing. I get a lot of fiber each day, I know that.

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I'm glad to see that you have an appointment with a nutritionist. Increased hunger can be a sign of overactive thyroid.

By any chance, are you already on thyroid supplement for underactive thyroid?

My experience was that, when I stopped eating gluten, my intestinal malabsorption improved (which is supposed to happen), and I then found out that prior to that, I had not been properly absorbing my thyroid supplement. My endocrinologist had been increasing my dosage every few months, but my TSH was still high--until I stopped eating gluten.

Then, because I was suddenly absorbing ALL of the higher dose of the supplement, my thyroid levels were TOO high, and I was hungry all the time, until my thyroid dose was appropriately lowered.

I am now on HALF of the amount of supplement I was taking before, with very stable T3, T4, and TSH levels.

And that's what I hope your endocrinologist will order for you: blood work testing for T3, T4, and TSH.

You may or may not have thyroid issues at this point. I don't know. The only way to find out is through blood tests. It would probably be a good idea to learn about thyroid issues, which are often seen in conjunction with celiac disease/gluten intolerance.

I never took anything having to do with thyroid problems. I don't know if I was tested for them or not. My first blood test, which was for many things, including diabetes-related things, came back normal. I don't know if thyroid was part of the test or not. I posted the results in this topic: Blood results normal except fasting blood sugar

See any thyroid stuff in there? It was all this:

CBC (includes diff/plt)

White blood cell count - 3.9 thousand (normal = 3.8-10.8 thousand/uL)

Red blood cell count - 5.01 million (normal = 4.2-5.8 million/uL)

Hemoglobin = 15.5 (normal = 13.2-17.1 g/dL)

Hematocrit = 45.6 (normal = 38.5-50.0%)

MCV = 91.0 (normal = 80-100 fL)

MCH = 31.0 (normal = 27-33 pg)

MCHC = 34.1 (normal =32-36 g/dL)

RDW = 13.1 (normal = 11-15%)

Platelet count = 195 (normal = 140-400 thousand/uL)

Absolute neutrophils = 1876 (normal = 1500-7800 cells/ uL)

Absolute lymphocytes = 1502 (normal = 850-3900 cells/uL)

Absolute monocytes = 363 (normal = 200-950 cells/uL)

Absolute eosinophils = 140 (normal = 15-500 cells/uL)

Absolute basophils = 20 (normal = 0-200 cells/uL)

Neutrohiles = 48.1%

Lymphocytes = 38.5%

Monocytes = 9.3%

Eosinophils = 3.6%

Basophils = 0.5%

C-peptide = 2.6 (normal = 0.8-3.1 ng/mL)

Urinalysis, reflex

Color = yellow (normal = yellow)

Appearance = clear (normal = clear)

Specific gravity = 1.016 (normal = 1.001-1.035)

PH = 7.5 (normal = 5-8)

Glucose = negative (normal = negative)

Bilirubin = negative (normal = negative)

Ketones = negative (normal = negative)

Occult blood = negative (normal = negative)

Protein = negative (normal = negative)

Nitrite = negative (normal = negative)

Leukocyte esterase = trace (normal = negative)

WBC = 0-5 (normal = < or = 5 /hpf)

RBC = none seen (normal = < or = 3 /hpf)

Comprehensive metabolic panel w/EGFR

Glucose = 106 (normal = 65-99 mg/dL)

Urea nitrogin (bun) = 20 (normal = 7-25 mg/dL)

Creatinine = 0.94 (normal = 0.80-1.30 mg/dL)

eGFR non-Afr. America = >60 (normal = > or = 60 mL/min/1.73m2)

eGFR African American = >60 (normal = > or = 60 mL/min/1.73m2)

Bun/creatinine ratio = not applicable (normal = 6-22 (calc)

(Bun and creatinine ratio is not reported when the bun and creatinine values are within normal limits)

Sodium = 142 (normal = 135-146 mmol/L)

Potassium = 4.2 (normal = 3.5/5.3 mmol/L)

Chloride = 105 (normal = 98-110 mmol/L)

Carbon dioxide = 28 (normal = 21-33 mmol/L)

Protein, total = 7.0 (normal = 6.2-8.3 g/dL)

Albumin = 4.7 (normal = 3.6-5.1 g/dL)

Globulin = 2.3 (normal = 2.1-3.7 g/dL (calc))

Albumin/globulin ratio = 2.0 (normal = 1.0-2.1 (calc))

Bilirubin, total = 0.5 (normal = 0.2-1.2 mg/dL)

Alkaline phosphatase = 45 (normal = 40-115 U/L)

AST = 23 (normal = 10-40 U/L)

ALT = 58 (normal = 9-60 U/L)

Hemoglobin Alc = 5.5% of total Hgb

Non-diabetic = <6.0%

TSH, 3rd generation

w/ reflex to FT4 = 1.54 (normal = 0.40-4.50 mIU/L)

T3, total = 152 (normal = 97-219 ng/dL)

Proinsulin = 17.3 (normal = <=18.8 pmol/L)

Squamous epithelial cells = none seen (normal = < or = 5 /hpf)

Bacteria = none seen (normal = none seen)

Hyaline cast = none seen (normal = none seen)

I don't know if any of these relate to thyroid. Some answers to the hunger problem would be nice...

No mention of nutrient, mineral or vitamin levels that I can see. My gastro looked only for vitamins A and D, antibodies, and the celiac genes. None of them were found, though he made a comment about something regarding anti-gliadin (I think?), but I didn't quite catch what he said. Wish I'd asked for a physical copy of the records from his blood test at least; he just told me over the phone it looked mostly normal. Blah.

Maybe I do have that H. pylori thing? I don't have most of the symptoms mentioned for it, just constant hunger and my stomach rumbles a lot. I often feel it in front. I sometimes feel it shortly AFTER, or while, eating, too. I don't know how to describe it better than that. What's this about mixing water with some baking soda? Is that safe to do? (I thought you weren't supposed to swallow baking soda) Hey, I'd do it if I thought it would help the hunger. How does it work?

Though I also feel low blood sugar often when hungry, and I don't think H. pylori causes that... does it?

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I'm still not seeing you talk about how much fat you're eating. It's not just getting protein. Or making sure to have carbs. Or even JUST fat. But it's a combination of the three, and if you're system is sensitive to it, leaving one out makes a huge difference. You could eat a meal of chicken, rice, applesauce, and carrots, and because none of those are very high caloric density, have a full stomach (physically filled with food) but not have enough calories in it to satiate your hunger. Saute those carrots in plenty of olive oil and add half an avocado on top of the chicken, and you're probably going to be less hungry afterwards.

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I'm still not seeing you talk about how much fat you're eating. It's not just getting protein. Or making sure to have carbs. Or even JUST fat. But it's a combination of the three, and if you're system is sensitive to it, leaving one out makes a huge difference. You could eat a meal of chicken, rice, applesauce, and carrots, and because none of those are very high caloric density, have a full stomach (physically filled with food) but not have enough calories in it to satiate your hunger. Saute those carrots in plenty of olive oil and add half an avocado on top of the chicken, and you're probably going to be less hungry afterwards.

There's plenty of - mostly healthy - fat in my peanut butter and popcorn. I now try soymilk, which has some unsaturated fat - nearly 1/3 of its calories. And peanut butter is mostly fat.

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There's plenty of - mostly healthy - fat in my peanut butter and popcorn.

Olive oil in these?

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Olive oil in these?

Olive oil? What about it? That a healthy fat source? You think I should use it on many things?

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I'm asking what in peanut butter and popcorn is healthy?

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I'm asking what in peanut butter and popcorn is healthy?

Monounsaturated fat. The healthiest kind of fat there is. Both also contain lots of fiber, and peanut butter contains protein.

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If you're happy with it, then go for it.

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Fat in popcorn? You're either adding butter (not the worst source of fat, certainly!), or using microwave popcorn, which doesn't have good fat, and doesn't have huge quantities of it. And if you're eating peanut butter at every meal... whew, that's a lot of peanut butter. Two foods aren't enough to provide you with the fat you may need.

Let's say you eat four tablespoons of peanut butter a day - a quarter cup. (That's two servings.) That's 32g of fat. But, if you're dividing it into four (of your potentially 9) meals a day, that's 8g each meal. You have a tablespoon of butter on popcorn once a day, and that's 11g. Still not enough for a day for the vast majority of people.

Relying on only two foods for your fat sources is not only not going to get you fat *THROUGHOUT* the day, but it is unlikely to get you enough. If you are just eating the same food - well, that might be one reason you're still hungry - a variety of foods are needed for the body to get the nutrients it needs, and it'll go on craving more food if it's not getting the variety it needs.

Have you done a food log to find out how many calories you get in a day, and the breakdown of macronutrients (fat, carbs, protein) and micronutrients? There are a number of (free) programs that will make this task fairly simple. Keep a log for a week or two, and look at your averages. It may be enlightening. (And "recall" reporting - remembering what you ate over the past week - rather than recording as you go is notoriously unreliable; do not think you can just "remember" you're way to a food log.)

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I'm still not seeing you talk about how much fat you're eating. It's not just getting protein. Or making sure to have carbs. Or even JUST fat. But it's a combination of the three, and if you're system is sensitive to it, leaving one out makes a huge difference. You could eat a meal of chicken, rice, applesauce, and carrots, and because none of those are very high caloric density, have a full stomach (physically filled with food) but not have enough calories in it to satiate your hunger. Saute those carrots in plenty of olive oil and add half an avocado on top of the chicken, and you're probably going to be less hungry afterwards.

Yes, that's good advice to add fats this way. Fats help slow the rate at which the glucose from the carbs(the rice and applesauce-which are quicky processed carbs) hit your blood stream, which is a good thing because you'll get more milage out of your meal rather than a sharp spike up soon after the meal followed by a quick drop at some point in the near future.

You mentioned hunger and feeling of low blood sugar. Yes, they go together. The hunger can be caused by low blood sugar. It's you body's way of self preservation. If you satisfy it with quickly processed carbs or even just a big carb load in general, you end up being on a rollercoaster with ups and downs. A meal like mentioned above gives you a nice smooth ride. If you plan snacks that follow that same balanced pattern, that will ensure level energy. Think of the snack as a mini balanced meal. This is all assuming that there isn't some other major imbalance going on. All this talk about blood sugar isn't just for those with diabetes. The basic principles can apply to non-diabetics as well.

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