More than 20 years ago there was an investigation into the satiety of foods, meaning the feeling of how filling food was, that was conducted according to the good old tried and tested method of letting people eat and a few minutes later asking them if they were still full, and again, and again. As rudimentary as it sounds, it’s also practical and you really can’t go wrong by asking a bunch of people how they feel about a certain thing and then analysing the data as a collective agreement.
So, what did the Satiety Index say? Well, that protein, fiber, and water contents of the test foods correlated positively with the SI scores. Meaning that these are the main differentiating factors you should consider when eyeing up your options throughout the day.
Perhaps you’ve got an early start but you know that lunch is only going to be possible closer to late afternoon or you’re getting lunch but can inevitably see that you’ll be working late and then you’re meeting friends for a movie and everything is going to be rushed. Well, now you can select foods based on how filling they are to keep those hunger pangs away.
Protein has been highlighted as one of the most effective ways to stay fuller for longer so it makes sense to start with meat. In a study, researchers had people eat a high carb or high protein lunch and results showed how the protein group were less hungry in the evening.
Make sure that you include lean meats in your diet if you want to feel full throughout the day. This can mean eating steak and ribs, but if you don’t eat beef then you can substitute with chicken or pork.
Oatmeal has long since been the breakfast touted as essential for early mornings going to school by parents who wanted their children to be full up until break time. And they aren’t wrong. A study showed how forty-eight healthy individuals, 18 years of age or older, were enrolled in a randomized, crossover trial. It was proven that oatmeal suppresses appetite, increases satiety, and reduces energy intake compared to normal cereal.
If you have a busy day ahead and need energy from the moment you’re out of the door and on your way to work or the gym then choosing oatmeal over normal cereal should be a no-brainer.
The popularity of fatty fish, namely salmon, recently has come into fashion because of its healthy properties. And because it tastes great too.
Research has shown that high omega-3 diet reduces appetite and increases satiety and you’re lucky that salmon not only contains these healthy fats but protein as well. Maybe you won’t be getting enough salmon from sushi but you could do worse than having a salmon salad for lunch.
Did someone say sushi? You may have seen in retail stores that seaweed on its own, layered with wasabi, is now readily available because both are very healthy. But seaweed being both healthy and filling is not only public knowledge because of the rise and rise of sushi. Anyone who has lived by the ocean will tell you that.
And to back it up with science, when the flavour of umami (seaweed) was added to diets, results showed that the addition of it to a low-energy preload had a biphasic effect on appetite by stimulating appetite during ingestion and enhancing post-ingestive satiety.
They may look like they can’t do much, but they’re pretty powerful when you look at the facts. High in everything essential to reduce appetite such as fibre, protein, and omega-3, all from the tiny little seeds that can be added to pretty much anything. 11 of the 12 grams of carbohydrate found in chia seeds are fibrous.
When you’re selecting your next muffin and want to stay full, try get your hands on one with chia seeds and the same goes for when you’re thinking of you to give your salads a new edge or you’re looking for something to snack on in between meals.
Fruits and vegetables
There’s a reason why fruits and vegetables are a staple of every diet, whether it’s to maintain health or lose weight, and that’s because while they are low in calories they also supply dietary fiber, and fiber intake is linked to lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and obesity.
These natural fruits and vegetables also supply vitamins and minerals to the diet and are sources of phytochemicals that function as antioxidants, phytoestrogens, and anti-inflammatory agents and through other protective mechanisms. Basically, they’re essential for health and including them in every diet or eating plan is non-negotiable – you’re not a child anymore…it has to happen.
Surprisingly, raspberries are at the top of the list of high fiber fruits. A cup will contain about 8 grams of dietary fiber that is more than enough to get you close to your daily goals. And the benefits don’t stop there. Raspberries also contain health promoting nutrients including vitamins C and B-complex, manganese, copper, magnesium and iron.
Much like salmon, avocados also contain omega-3 fatty acids, among other healthy nutrients. Research points to avocado consumption being associated with improved overall diet quality, nutrient intake, and reduced risk of metabolic syndrome. Dietitians should be aware of the beneficial associations between avocado intake, diet and health when making dietary recommendations.
Potatoes, not chips, are one of the most widely consumed vegetables on the planet – and for good reason. They offer a high glycaemic index and as a result also rank high on the satiety index. Generally speaking, an increase in blood glucose is associated with satiety, and fluctuations in blood glucose concentrations are intimately linked to hypothalamic mechanisms regulating food intake. Eat your potatoes if you want to be full, but remember to boil or roast them and avoid deep frying foods in fats, which will basically ruin most of the nutritional value you would have got from them.