Have you ever consumed a couple of consecutive big meals just to feel hungry 40 minutes later? Well, if this has happened to you, odds are you are not selecting the right foods with the appropriate satiety index. Satiety refers to the loss of appetite after consuming a nutritious meal.
Furthermore, it is important to distinguish between stomach hungry, which is not related to calorie needs but rather to blood sugar and what foods we consume, and actual hunger. Stomach hunger is driven by the hormone ghrelin which is secreted when the blood sugar drops, which usually happens after meals that are high in carbohydrates. Stomach hunger is usually marked by growling stomach, and the desire to eat immediately. Actual hunger is manifested with dizziness, sometimes headaches, slow thinking, and lethargy.
You can also distinguish the two types of food you want when you feel hungry: If you want a salad, vegetables, or a big piece of meat or fish you are likely actually hungry, versus when you crave a PB and J sandwich or cookies, or a big cheesy pasta dish you may just feel ghrelin.
In this article, we’ll explain the importance of high satiety foods, and we’ll also give you a list of our 4 best picks in that category!
So, Why Is Satiety Important?
The modern-day market offers a variety or rather, an abundance of food products to choose from. However, the thing is that the tastiest foods also happen to be more processed AND least satiating. With poor nutrient profiles, these processed products simply satisfy your taste cravings, but hardly ever help you meet your actual nutritional needs. When you’re not meeting your nutritional needs, well, your body keeps asking for more food by sending hunger signals, until you actually give the body what it needs, which are not more macros like carbs and fats, but often micronutrients, minerals and vitamins.
That is to say that processed foods are NOT inherently fattening but instead, they make you eat a lot more which therefore leads to inevitable weight gain. Being satiated for the longest time possible after each meal is important, as that means you have met your nutritional needs and your body has the resources to work with for the goal of sustaining healthy function.
What Actually Brings Satiety?
Every sensation or bodily signal in the body is closely related with the balance of certain hormones. Specifically for appetite and satiety, leptin and ghrelin seem to be the two predominantly involved hormones. The macronutrients you get from food, that are most effective in inducing the feeling of satiety, are protein & fat. For this reason, it is of prime importance to meet your daily protein and fat needs, as they will play an essential role in how hungry you feel throughout the day.
Remember that a hungry mind won’t be able to focus on other, also important tasks you have.
The 5 Most Satiating Foods
Generally, the most satiating foods tend to be high in protein, high in fiber, high in volume, and low in energy density. Now without further ado, let’s have a look at the most satiating foods you can easily find in your local grocery store!
As we mentioned, protein and fats from whole food sources are amongst the most satiating nutrients you can give to your body. Beef and other red meats happen to be abundant of both nutrients, so including them in your nutrition plan is a good bet! However, be sure to buy grass-fed beef to avoid harmful hormones and toxins. If you always wake up hungry, and that oatmeal & coffee breakfast full of sugar can’t satiate you, well, try a morning ribeye steak!
Though protein and fats are the most satiating macronutrients, the food with the HIGHEST satiety index contains mostly carbohydrates… That’s right! Potatoes are, in fact, the most satisfying food a human can eat! Try for yourself - Get a beef steak and cook up some potato mash and you will be full for at least 3 hours.
If you are trying to establish a nutrition plan that is nutrient-dense enough to keep you full and healthy, eggs cannot be ignored! Eggs are good as a standalone meal, or can be made an addition to a bigger meal, to make it complete! Furthermore, they can be enjoyed in a variety of forms, such as an omelette, scrambled, or even over some rice in japanese style!
Fish is high in important omega-3 fatty acids, and the protein in fish may be more satiating than other protein sources. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, which means that they cannot be produced by the body but that we have to eat them. When you buy fish be aware of farm-raised fish which can have unhealthy characteristics due to the farming conditions. Instead, buy wild-caught Atlantic salmon or sockeye salmon, wild-caught chunk light tuna, or responsibly farmed fish.
Any foods containing fiber will keep you full for multiple hours. Some foods are vegetables or high fiber products. Fiber is indigestible and has very little to no calories. Make sure to drink plenty of water when you increase your fiber intake, and make sure to do it slowly to get your body used to the higher fiber intake. One tasty way to increase both your fiber and protein intake are some protein bars, which we have carefully selected for your here.
One of the most important aspects of your nutrition plan is to make it actually satiating! If you constantly feel hungry, you are not using the right nutrition plan, regardless of what anyone tells you. Make sure to try out these 4 foods presented in this article and let us know how they affected your satiety and energy levels!