It’s no secret that some foods can be a trigger for hunger and cravings. The food we eat affects our hormones, which in turn affect how many calories we need to consume to feel satisfied.
One way to control hunger and cravings is by increasing the number of high-satiety foods in your diet.
Foods with a high satiety index can be a potent weapon if you’re wary of putting on too much weight.
In this article, we’ll talk more about satiety and look at six high-satiety foods that will satisfy your cravings and leave you feeling full without adding too many calories.
Satiety is the state of being satisfied or feeling a sense of fullness from eating.
Different foods provide varying levels of satiety. In 1995, the University of Sydney in Australia conducted a study to evaluate the filling effects of various foods. This gave rise to the satiety index.
The satiety index measures how long the feeling of hunger lasts after you eat certain foods. Foods with a higher satiety index are more likely to leave you feeling less hungry.
A food’s glycemic load, calories per serving, fat content, fiber content, and protein content are all considered in determining its Satiety Index.
In general, foods with a satiety index (SI) score of 100 or more are considered more filling, while those with fewer than 100 points are considered less filling.
To minimize your hunger pangs and eat less, you should eat foods with a higher SI score.
Nutritional Characteristics of the Most Filling Foods
Studies show that the most filling foods aren’t necessarily those with the highest calories. Ironically, evidence shows that some foods designed for weight loss programs have very low SI scores.
Because of this, you could have a “strict” diet program and still struggle with your weight. You could even end up with obesity.
For the best results, your diet should be comprised of foods with the following characteristics:
- High Protein Content: According to studies, protein is the most satiating macronutrient. It does this by increasing the amount of ghrelin and glucagon-like peptide 1 – two hormones known to reduce appetite and hunger.
- High in Fiber: As a slow-digesting carbohydrate, fiber prevents feelings of hunger by increasing the time that food stays in your stomach before being digested into the bloodstream. Larger servings of fiber are more effective at promoting satiety and reducing energy intake.
- High in Volume: Foods that contain a lot of water are highly satiating.
- Low Energy Density: These are foods that have lower than average caloric content for their weight. They contain few calories per gram and are low in fat.
Further evidence strongly suggests that unprocessed foods generally provide more satiety than processed foods.
6 Filling Foods Worth a Try
One study showed that those who ate eggs for breakfast consumed fewer calories throughout the day than those who ate a bagel. Eggs are also packed with protein and healthy fatty acids, making them an excellent option for keeping hunger at bay.
One large egg contains around 6 grams of protein.
Oatmeal is an excellent source of fiber, which can help you feel full and satisfied until your next meal. This breakfast staple also has slow-digesting carbs to give you energy throughout the day.
Legumes are one of the best sources of satiety. In fact, one study shows they’ve got more ability to satisfy hunger than animal-based protein sources.
A single serving of lean meat like chicken or fish provides a lot of protein but very few calories. With elevated levels of muscle-building amino acids, these foods not only help you feel full but also assist with recovery after workouts.
Avocados are a favorite for those looking to add more fiber and healthy fats to their diet. The avocado’s high-fat content will slow down the digestive process, keeping you fuller for longer.
For a more satiating salad, you could try mixing mashed avocados with chopped veggies like onions or tomatoes (or even some beans).
Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries — whatever type of berry you like the most — are a great way to keep hunger at bay. Berries are naturally low in sugar but high in fiber which can help stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent cravings.