Have you noticed that some foods leave you feeling full for hours, while others have you searching for snacks? Eating foods that make you feel full is great way to avoid reaching for unhealthy convenience foods later.
A researcher at the University of Sydney has done the hard work for us and catalogued how full certain foods make us feel, so we can stick to the ones that keep us feeling chocka. The list she created is called the ‘satiety index’.
Dr. Susanne Holt picked 38 common foods and divided them into 240-calorie portions. Then she got a lucky bunch of students to come in and eat a portion and describe how full they felt over the next 15 minutes. The students then got to go to a buffet and graze as much as they wanted over the next two hours, while the researchers catalogued how much they chose to eat.
White bread was given the baseline score of 100. Foods that were found to be more satisfying than white bread got higher scores, and less satisfying foods got lower scores.
Here are five of the best for keeping you full:
Boiled Potatoes (323)
Boiled potatoes were found to be super-satisfying. They ranked the highest on the Satiety Index, being high in carbs and water, with good amounts of protein and fibre. Potatoes cooked with their skins on are a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C and potassium, and they contain a protein called proteinase inhibitor 2, which may supress appetite. You’ve got to choose the healthy forms of potato – fries only scored 116.
Get some boiled potatoes into your diet with Fitfood’s delicious Coconut Crumbed Tofu with Crushed New Potatoes.
Coming in a hot second on the satiety index is the food superstar, fish. Fish is loaded up with high-quality protein and essential fats such as omega-3 fatty acid. Some scientific studies have shown that the protein in fish has a stronger effect on fullness than the protein in chicken and beef. In the satiety index study, fish beat out all other protein-rich foods, including eggs and beef.
Fitfood has a ton of great fish options - the Indian Coconut Fish Curry is absolutely irresistible.
Feeling full after breakfast is seriously important, especially on a work day. The study found that oats, often eaten as porridge or oatmeal, are a great breakfast choice. Oats are a great source of fibre, in particular a soluble fibre called beta-glucan, which has been shown to release satiety hormones and delay the emptying of the stomach, helping you feel full for longer.
Start your day with porridge, and you’ll reduce your chance of overeating throughout the day.
Beef is high in protein, which reduces your levels of the ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin. Protein also boosts levels of a peptide called YY, which makes you feel full. A whole range of studies have shown that upping your protein consumption will make you eat less without even trying.
Protein is also crucial for muscle recovery after exercise, so a bit of beef can help you maintain your healthy, active lifestyle.
Fitfood has a bunch of protein-packed beef dishes, and it doesn’t get better than the traditional Roast Beef with Crushed New Potatoes.
Eggs are seriously nutrient dense and a great health food. You’ll find most of the nutrients concentrated in the yolks, so make sure you cook with whole eggs, not just the white.
They’re protein-rich: a large egg contains about 6 grams of protein, and all of the nine essential amino acids. Studies have found that they increase fullness for a long time – they can lead to a lower calorie intake for 36 hours after eating them.
Increase your egg intake with this delicious Courgette Frittata from Fitfood.
Let Fitfood take care of your cravings with filling and nutritious meals. Check out the Weight Management menu for a range of low-calorie meals with plenty of potatoes, beef and other filling ingredients.