Satiety is the feeling of fullness at meals that triggers us to stop eating. Simply put, satiety is the feeling of eating “enough” and naturally ending your meal. Feeling satiated may sound intangible at first, but researchers have qualified which foods are the most satiable.
In fact, they observed that many low-calorie foods designed for weight loss and dieting were very low on the satiety scale. Further, these diet foods may cause overeating later due to ramping up hunger and cravings.
So what food is considered the best to decrease hunger cravings and help with longer satiety Protein is considered the number one most satiating macronutrient.
According to research published in the Nutrition Journal, a high-protein snack can decrease total calories consumed throughout the day when compared to a high-fat or carbohydrate snack.
Protein is highly satisfying for a handful of reasons. Firstly, it is the most filling. It takes a long time to digest, thus hanging out in our stomach longer and contributing to feelings of fullness.
Protein also has a high thermic effect on food and increases your metabolic rate via the calories it burns to digest it. Protein is dually the most satiating macronutrient, followed by carbohydrates, and lastly, fat.
Interestingly, highly processed foods that are high in both carbs and fat have been shown to be quite low on the satiety index. Consider eating something like a breakfast pastry or donut. The “off switch” for these foods is hard to achieve. In contrast, consider replacing this breakfast with eggs, whole-grain toast, and fruit.
You will likely feel completely different levels of fullness and satiety at these different meals. The first meal, a breakfast pastry, is not very filling or satiating. This choice may leave you feeling hungry or as if you have not eaten enough. Thus, this choice can influence your food choices later in the day.
On the other hand, a balanced breakfast that is high in protein may increase feelings of fullness and prompt you to stop eating naturally. This combination may decrease your total calories consumed later in the day by contributing to feelings of satiety and satisfaction. Make one yourself with our list of 19 High Protein Breakfasts That Keep You Full.
To increase feelings of satiety and decrease hunger cravings throughout the day, ensure your meals have adequate protein first and foremost.
You may also want to take a look at the type of carbohydrates you eat because carbs are the second most satisfying macronutrient. High fiber carbs like potatoes, whole grains, brown rice, and fruit are close seconds to high-protein foods and can help you naturally feel more satiated at your meals.
Focus on macronutrient-balanced meals to increase feelings of fullness and satiety. Not sure how to balance out your meal? Here’s our trick on how to always set up a healthy meal.
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