More than 2 decades ago, after extensive studies, researchers in Australia came up with the “satiety index”. A satiety index is a way to determine how satisfied you feel after eating certain foods. The less satisfied, the more likely someone will continue to eat extra calories as they do not feel full.
Several participants took part in the research and they were asked to eat a 240-calorie portion of each of the foods available. After 2 hours, they were asked to rate their satiety. From this information, the researchers compiled a list of the best healthy foods for keeping them full and less likely to lead to extra calories being consumed which can lead to weight gain. (Scroll down for the list).
How Satiety Works
Satiety is controlled by a number of factors that initiate when a food or drink is consumed and continue as the food enters the gut and is digested and absorbed. As a result, signals reach specific areas of the brain in response to the expansion of the stomach, our sensory responses and the brain’s insights of the food and drink consumed. This is called the satiety response and will essentially tell us that we are full. After food is consumed, it may take up to 20 minutes for the satiety signals to reach the brain.
How to Influence Hormones
Hunger hormones influence satiety to a significant extent. Each hunger hormone is influenced by different factors present in the food we eat. Below is a list of how hunger hormones influence the satiety response:
· Eating mixed meals can remove sole macronutrients.
· Meeting the daily calorie requirements is essential for satiety response.
· Eating at a consistent time is important to ensure that the hunger hormones are released according to the habitual eating schedule.
· Fiber, water, and sodium are necessary to impact satiety.
What to Eat for Optimal Satiety
From the research above, there are certain foods that can be consumed for optimal satiety, leaving you in the 'absence of hunger':
White potatoes are rich in fiber – which is important for the digestion of nutrients and they can keep you full for over 2 hours after eating. They are one of the most filling foods that can keep you sated, almost three times longer than the average food. Beware of fried potatoes like chips and French fries however as they do not give the same results!
As we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and when done correctly it can keep us charged for long periods of time. Hot oatmeal is the most satisfying breakfast cereal available according to research, which provides more protein and fiber per serving than other common breakfast choices. Adding skimmed milk can also help you achieve satiety for a longer time.
According to the same research, foods high in fiber are processed slower and last longer than usual in the stomach resulting in the feeling of fullness. Beans are very rich in fiber and prove to be a good food source to stay active for a longer part of the day.
Your regular meals may leave you craving for more shortly after, but a serving of cooked whitefish is proven to keep you full. A thick slice of cod or haddock is delicious served grilled with steamed broccoli, the high protein content and fats keeping you satisfied for hours after.
According to a research conducted by the Pennsylvania State University, dieters who consume soup two times a day are more successful in losing weight and maintaining a proper shape. This is usually due to the high fiber content, with the added benefit of hydrating the consumers above the average.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a renowned saying sure and for good reason! People who eat an apple eliminate the deficiency of iron from their body as well as maintain a healthy balance of nutrients from the fruit. Apples contain a high water and fiber content which is proven to achieve satiety. Great as a snack between meals!
Eggs are a healthy food option and have a significant amount of fiber, good fats and protein in them. According to researchers, people who eat eggs regularly achieve satiety more often than those who avoid them. eggs are also a complete protein source, great for non meat eaters.
Tips to Achieve Satiety
Here are some things to consider to stay fuller for longer:
· Eat foods high in protein and fiber. These types of food increase the feeling of fullness.
· The energy density of a food has a strong influence on satiety. It is the amount of energy (or calories) per gram of food. Lower energy density foods provide less energy per gram of food so you can eat more of them without eating too many calories.
· Avoiding alcohol is important to achieving optimal satiety. Alcohol stimulates appetite and makes us eat more regardless of food being healthy or not.
· Drinking more water is important for both achieving satiety as well as to detox. It keeps us full and hydrated.
These are just a few tips you can use to achieve optimum satiety!
It is important to know that food should not be avoided at all costs. Keeping your body satiated means you are consistently burning nutrient rich nutrition and preventing fat storage.
It's no wonder, this feeling of fullness is important for human health.
Satiety also helps to improve the metabolism as well as maintain our weight, keep us from depression and happy! Ultimately, you are more likely to enjoy a healthy lifestyle and lose weight if you feel full for longer periods of your day between meals.