If you were to describe ‘The Perfect Food’, it would probably be: healthy, delicious, bigger than a morsel and filling enough to fight hunger for hours. “Foods that promote satiety”—a feeling of lasting fullness. In this blog, I have listed down some foods which are healthy and yet filling.
- Baked potato
The potato has been unfairly demonized—it’s actually a potent hunger tamer. Though potatoes are often shunned because they’re considered high in carbohydrates, they shouldn’t be. Whether baked or boiled, they’re loaded with vitamins, fibre and other nutrients. Baked potato get you steady energy and lasting fullness after noshing on them.
Feel even fuller: Eat baked and boiled tubers skin-on to get more fibre for just 160 calories a pop.
2. Bean soup
Soups have high water content, which means they fill your stomach with very few calories. Broth-based bean soups, in particular, contain a hefty dose of fibre and resistant starch—a good carb that slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream—to make that full feeling really stick. “Once in the stomach, fibre and water activate stretch receptors that signal that you aren’t hungry anymore.
Feel even fuller: Resist the cracker pack on the side in favour of a bigger soup helping. Beans are starchy, satisfying and caloric enough on their own. To give variations to your soup, you can throw lentils, black-eyed peas or kidney or navy beans into a vinegar-based salad too.
Eggs are one of the few foods that are a complete protein, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids that your body can’t make itself. Once digested, those amino acids trigger the release of hormones in your gut that suppress appetite.
Feel even fuller: Don’t discard the yolks—about half an egg’s protein lives in those yellow parts. Adding vegetables to a scramble boosts its volume and fibre content for few extra calories (an egg has 78Kcal, and a cup of spinach just 7Kcal).
Yoghurt is the single best food for shedding pounds: Over time, people who downed more of the protein-packed stuff lost pounds without trying. Yoghurt contains dairy proteins which increase satiety, reduces food intake and keeps blood sugar steady.
Feel even fuller: Top yoghurt with fibrous foods like raspberries (4 grams of fibre per half cup) or cucumber (9 grams per three-quarters of a cup).
Apples are one of the few fruits that contain pectin, which naturally slows digestion and promotes a feeling of fullness. In fact, people who ate an apple as part of a meal felt more satiated and ate less than those who consumed a calorically equivalent amount of juice and applesauce. “Whole apples take a long time to eat for very few calories. Your body has more time to tell your brain that you’re no longer hungry. That means you can eat lots of this low-energy-density, high-satiety fruit and avoid feeling deprived while losing weight.
Feel even fuller: Add apple chunks to oatmeal or salad.
This movie-night favourite is a low-energy-density food—for 90 calories, you could eat 3 cups of air-popped corn but whereas for the same number of calories you can just have a quarter cup of potato chips. This means, that a quarter cup of potato chips has 90 calories whereas 3 cups of plain air-popped popcorns have just 90 calories, so it is more filling. Popcorn takes up more room in your stomach, and seeing a big bowl of it in front of you tricks you into thinking that you’re eating more calories and that you’ll feel full when you’re finished.
Feel even fuller: Sprinkle some red pepper on popcorns or any meal. In a recent Purdue University study, people who added a half teaspoon of the spice to their meal felt less hungry.
A great natural cure for a sweet tooth, fresh figs have a dense consistency and sweet flesh that’s high in fibre (each 37-calorie fig packs about a gram), which slows the release of sugar into the blood, preventing the erratic high caused by cookies or cake.
Feel even fuller: Split the fig in half and add protein such as a teaspoon of cheese or add walnuts.
Oatmeal’s filling force comes from its high fibre content and its uncanny ability to soak up liquid like a sponge. When cooked with water or skim milk, the oats thicken and take more time to pass through your digestive system, meaning you’ll go longer between hunger pangs.
Feel even fuller: Sprinkle almonds on top of your bowl. “The nuts pack protein and fibre and contain unsaturated fats that can help stabilize insulin levels,” regulating blood sugar.
While most beverages don’t satisfy hunger very well, drinks blended full of air are an exception: They cause people to feel satiated and eat less at their next meal. Just be sure you’re not whipping your smoothie full of sugary, caloric ingredients like fruit juices or flavoured syrups, which will negate the health benefits.
Feel even fuller: Put ice and fat-free milk or yoghurt in a blender, add in fruit and give it a whirl. Try strawberries, which are extremely low in energy density—they’re 92 percent water!—and bananas, which are loaded with resistant starch.
10. Wheat berries
Wheat berries are whole-wheat kernels which contain one of the highest amounts of protein and fibre per serving of any grain (6 grams of protein and 6 grams of fibre).
Protein triggers the hormone ghrelin to tell our brain that we are satisfied and fibre activates appetite-suppressing gut hormones.
Feel even fuller: Toss wheat berries with apples, nuts and other diet-friendly foods to make a super tasty salad.