Probably the biggest problem a person with phenylketonuria has to deal with is hunger. Why? One of the things that contributes the most to feelings of fullness is protein. Unfortunately, this is also exactly what we should avoid as much as possible.
Take a moment to think about this. It is 3 or 4 pm and your hunger is getting more intense. You had a good breakfast and a good lunch, but it’s not enough to last until dinner. Obviously, you have to turn to a snack, but what can you eat? You’re almost at your maximum level of exchange (or protein, depending on what you calculate), so the choices are limited. And finally, if you are careful about the calories and carbohydrates you consume, the list of low-phenylalanine therapeutic foods you can take gets drastically reduced.
It may seem like a tough problem. However, I have a plan that can help you last until supper (and even longer).
Step one: nibble on the right thing
It turns out that another nutrient contributes greatly to your feeling of fullness: fibres! Most fibres are high in protein, but fibers in vegetables are your friends. In addition, vegetables contain only a small amount of carbohydrates and calories, so they are a perfect choice for a snack. Add a glass of water to that (which will swell the fibers in the vegetables) and you’re already halfway there. 🙂
Step two: your secret weapon
To help you conquer hunger and to contribute to a healthy management of your diet, I strongly recommend that you end your snack with a therapeutic formula for phenylketonuria. I recently tried Nutricia’s PhenylAde GMP Ready and found it to be a great choice. First, this formula is low in calories and low in carbohydrates, and has a very low amount of sugar compared to other similar products that I have used before. Only 7.5g per container! Also, PhenylAde GMP Ready contains glycomacropeptides (GMP), a type of short chain protein that is a byproduct of cheese. And since protein is a major contributor to feelings of fullness, it is an extremely interesting tool to create formulas for phenylketonurics. In addition to offering a smoother taste to the formula, some studies seem to show that GMPs may help reduce hunger more effectively and for longer.
This tip should help you get through any munchies. I consider that the combination of fibre (vegetables) and amino acids / GMP can cut hunger quickly, and for a long time! Don’t hesitate to try this new formula and let me know what you think. Personally, I find it excellent. It tastes pretty much the same as almond milk and is ready to drink, just put in your straw and enjoy! 🙂
This article is presented in collaboration with Nutricia North America, however, these thoughts and recommendations are my own.