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Why aren't lentils filling?

Caralien Jan 28, 2009 05:19 AM

I made a pot of lentils last night, and am on my third serving this morning--still not even remotely full. When I make a potato (2-3" size), I'm full.

Am I supposed to eat 16-32oz at a time, or am I missing something?


  1. c
    cresyd Jan 28, 2009 05:22 AM

    If you're not eating lentils with a carbohydrate (most commonly rice), then you're not getting a complete protein which might explain why you're not getting full.

    4 Replies
    1. re: cresyd
      Caralien Jan 28, 2009 05:26 AM

      But a small plain potato is filling, on it's own...

      1. re: Caralien
        cresyd Jan 28, 2009 05:28 AM

        That's most likely a "to each their own" statement. I can not imagine getting remotely full on a small potato. I explain it to myself by saying it's just a carb completely devoid of fat or protein (unless added) - but clearly not everyone experiences potatoes the same.

      2. re: cresyd
        chowser Jan 28, 2009 07:05 AM

        Lentils are pretty high in carbs and getting a complete protein in one meal isn't necessary.

        1. re: chowser
          cresyd Jan 28, 2009 08:58 AM

          Getting a complete protein isn't necessary - but it may explain why it wouldn't be as filling.

      3. Gio Jan 28, 2009 05:28 AM

        For such a little bitty legume they are low in fat but pack a mighty nutritional punch. However when eaten with beans or other legumes they will definitely be more filling.
        Here's a link to the nutritional analysis and some pretty good recipes:


        1. chowser Jan 28, 2009 07:08 AM

          I think there is quite a bit of water in cooked lentils but if you're eating 16 oz at a time, measured before cooking, then that is a lot! Would adding some fat help? I have the opposite reaction to lentils where only a small amount makes me full but it's probably because I only have them in hearty soups.

          5 Replies
          1. re: chowser
            Caralien Jan 28, 2009 07:15 AM

            16oz dry put into the crock pot with 48oz of water and a very rich turkey stock; I ended up having three 4oz (cooked) servings before cooking a potato and eating that so I wouldn't still be hungry.

            Ate the first cup plain, the second one with garam masala, the third with garam masala and dulse. Then the 2"x3" potato with cracked pepper.

            It must be me, as I can finish off bowls upon bowls of most soup without filling up, but a baked potato or 2 hard boiled eggs (not fried, scrambled, soft boiled, or made into deviled eggs) definitely fills me up for awhile, and quickly. Now I'm overstuffed.

            1. re: Caralien
              chowser Jan 28, 2009 08:02 AM

              It sounds like a lot of water/liquid in yours, more than 4 to 1 ratio. It might be like rice porridge/jook for me. I never fill up on it because there's so much more water/stock than rice. If it were for me, I'd add something like turkey sausages to help fill me up. Baked potatoes do fill me up, as do eggs.

              1. re: chowser
                Caralien Jan 28, 2009 09:24 AM

                it was a 3:1 water+broth:lentil ratio, as recommended on the package. Tasted good though, and was a good base under slices of roast bison for lunch!

                1. re: Caralien
                  chowser Jan 28, 2009 09:54 AM

                  Were you more full with the bison? How do you like the bison? Is it like flank steak (cow)?

                  1. re: chowser
                    Caralien Jan 28, 2009 10:08 AM

                    I actually made that for my husband who came home for lunch today, and ate a salad instead.

                    It smelled terrific and he was very happy with it!

                    The bison was brisket, with 2 cooking styles used: a beer braise and crock pot:

                    It's far leaner than any flank steak I've had, and I spread rendered lard to the top to provide some fat both times. The price at the farm is on par with organic beef at the stores, so we thought it was worth a shot. Gamier than beef, but very satisfying.

          2. c
            charmedgirl Jan 28, 2009 09:25 AM

            Is this an "every time" thing, or a today thing? It might just be you, today. I mean, I know I definitely have what I call "hungry days" when my normal meals still leave me with my stomach growling.

            Other than that I would guess it is the lack of protein and fat in conjunction with the carb. Having a mix of all three aids in satiety. Or so they say. I think. I'm no expert. Get goodhealthgourmet in here!

            1 Reply
            1. re: charmedgirl
              Caralien Jan 28, 2009 10:15 AM

              I think it's me. I can eat bowls and bowls of rice plain too, so I don't buy it very often.

            2. madgreek Jan 28, 2009 11:03 AM

              Do you commonly have difficulty feeling full? I know I do. For a while, I thought that I lacked the capacity to feel "full". Keeping away from processed foods, consuming more whole grains and vegetables and less refined sugars does the trick for me. Lentils aren't at all bad for you, so don't think that I'm implying so, but I'm certain that they're not the only foods that you eat during the course of the day, so it is worth bringing up the subject. What I'm asking is: "What other foods do you normally eat?

              1 Reply
              1. re: madgreek
                Caralien Jan 28, 2009 11:33 AM

                I don't eat many overly processed foods. A lot of fresh and dried fruit, potatoes during the winter, roasted meats (including poultry and fish), eggs, no refined sugar (recently I've been experimenting with adding turbinado sugar to rubs), whole foods for the most part. No pastries unless I'm on vacation/at a party/road trip. Ice cream is a regular indulgence, but even that is from a local farm and usually has at most 5 ingredients. And I do usually get full but have been known to eat past that point when it's something I don't get very often.

                Since you asked, this is what I've eaten since yesterday:
                oatmeal with cinnamon (not instant)
                raw pecans
                pulled pork (leftover from shoulder roast last week) stir fried with baby spinach and habaneros
                scrambled eggs
                roasted bison (leftover from last week's brisket)
                red wine
                potato with quail egg and truffles
                a few tastes of the chicken pate I was making
                lentils cooked in turkey stock (some topped with dulse and garam masala)
                dried unsweetened cherries
                more baked potatoes, sometimes with olive oil and a lot of pepper
                Mission figs
                rooibos tea with skimmed milk and stevia
                tap water
                romaine lettuce with olive oil and pepper

                I'm sure I'm leaving something out, but this is close to what I normally eat. Our fridge and panty don't have much that a 4 year old couldn't pronouce. There are days when I don't feel like cooking or it's the weekend and we'll go out for a pizza, burgers, Indian, Mexican, Vietnamese, sashimi, southern/soul food, barbeque (hold the sauce), fry fry--what we called fried seafood platters. At Mexican, I will eat tortilla chips, but don't eat much in terms of snack foods aside from popcorn at the movies. Baguettes or slices of rosemary ciabbata bread with cheeses(all)/pate/dry cured meats--usually weekly, but lately too often. I don't usually eat bread otherwise, although I'll buy corn tortillas to have with leftover roasts. I usually eat a lot of non-fat yogurt too.

                I think it may be due to the weather, as it's cold, dreary, and mushy outside.

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