Our body is designed amazingly. It signals you to eat something when it’s low on energy and nutrients. Conveniently, the foods that best satisfy your hunger are nutrient dense as well.
The best way to fulfill hunger and keep you fuller for a longer duration is eat foods high in macronutrients. But, not all foods are created equal, some satisfy your appetite and some keep you full longer. And some just don’t help you at all, to be honest.
Food that keeps you full longer
Unprocessed and organic foods not only have more health benefits but they are also proven to be more filling than processed foods. Did you know that there’s an actual scale called the satiety index developed in 1995 to measure what kinds of foods keep you satiated the longest? In this article, let’s dive deeper and understand how some foods can ward off hunger and prevent us from overeating, while others can only satisfy our tongue and tummy temporarily.
What makes food filling?
Eating food that satisfies hunger can help control calorie consumption. For example, eating a meal that includes filling food is likely to cut down portion sizes and snacking in between meals. This, in return, can help you track your daily intake of calories and aid you in staying fit. This is one reason athletes and trainers prefer to consume more whole and unprocessed foods over processed or junk food.
Filling foods has certain properties that keep you from getting hungry during the day. These foods have four main common characteristics that help provide the body with the necessary nutrients.
1. High in Protein
Studies show that this is the most filling macronutrient. It changes the level of the satiety hormones ghrelin and glucagon-like peptide. Some of our favorite snacks that are high in protein are:
2. High in Fiber
The second factor to keeping you full longer is if the food is rich in fiber. Yup, that’s right- the same thing that keeps you healthy will also keep you from craving that extra serving. This is because foods rich in fiber take longer to digest, making you feel full longer. Some of our favorite fiber-filled snacks are:
3. High in Volume
The third factor is if it is a high-volume food or not. By this we mean some foods are filled with a ton of water or air- meaning you can eat a lot more of it for around the same caloric intake as other foods. A great example of this is popcorn! Speaking of which, have you tried some of our favorite brands yet? Explore them here and buy them at a deeply discounted rate.
4. Low in Energy Density
Low in energy density basically translates to the food having a scant amount of calories for its given weight. They are typically low in fat and high in protein. Some examples include legumes, lean meat, fish, and egg whites. Which is why our favorite on the go low energy density snacks are:
Along with these, whole grains, Greek yogurt, fruits like avocado and guava, and nuts like almonds and walnuts are nutrient-rich and energy-dense snack options that can keep your hunger at bay and make snack time a fun time. Studies found that eating vegetables high in inulin (a type of dietary fiber that can improve ‘good’ gut bacteria) showed good satiety and reduced desire to eat salty, sweet, and fatty foods. Don’t like the taste? Try them in smoothies for a refreshing feel or add them to your soup.
The bottom line is that filling foods have properties that are healthy and keep you filled for a longer time. Since they are whole, single-ingredient foods, they fill you with fewer calories, helping you to keep a track of your food intact.