When hanging out at home or spending all day working at a desk, cravings can creep up and it is easier to indulge in mindless snacking, which can quickly lead to you feeling a little bit dissatisfied all day long.
But by relying on extremely satisfying, satiating foods, we can help limit our eating to our actual meal times and feel a whole lot better. To do this, we should be opting for foods that are high in macronutrients like protein and fat as well as fiber.
Here are five foods that will help you feel fuller for longer:
Hemp is one of the rare plant-based complete protein sources. It also contains plenty of fiber, which provides volume and also takes a long time to digest, so you’ll feel more satiated for a longer period of time. As an added bonus, hemp also contains high levels of healthy omega fats and is shelf-stable — which means you can always have it on-hand and dig it out of the back of the pantry.
Nuts are some of the healthiest foods around, making them the perfect snack for whenever you feel that pang of hunger. They’re also great to incorporate into different recipes — like stir-fries, salads, homemade granola, and smoothies — to help you feel more satisfied after your meals. You can use any nut but I love walnuts because they’re delicious, versatile, and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, iron, potassium, and zinc.
Of course, avocados had to make the list! This magical fruit is chock-full of healthy fats, which help you feel fuller, longer. Why? Researchers point to their (1) energy density and lipid content, which keep your appetite at bay for a longer period of time. Avocados are the perfect stand-in for dairy, which can be inflammatory, and are the perfect addition to basically any meal but they are particularly helpful to add to your smoothies to make them more filling. If you want to try it out, try my Creamy Avocado Smoothie Recipe.
Fatty fish like salmon are great for heart health and can keep you feeling satiated for hours after you eat them. That’s likely due to their high content of omega-3s, which have been shown to increase satiety in various studies, including one published in the journal Nutrients showing that omega-3s were associated with greater satiety immediately after and 120 min after a test meal. (2)
If you eat breakfast and then feel hungry an hour later, you might want to consider adding eggs to the menu. Eggs are a great combination of satiating fats and protein — with one egg supplying you with 7 grams of high-quality protein and 5 grams of fat in only 75 calories. Eggs really are the perfect way to start your day, especially when you compare them to other common breakfast foods like bread, bars, and cereal, which are high in carbohydrates and sugars.
We don’t always think of soup as one of the most satiating foods. But research suggests that consuming veggies in liquid-form might make them more filling. In one study volunteers ate either a solid meal, a chunky soup, or a smooth soup and the results showed that the smooth soup had the greatest effect on the participant’s fullness and left the stomach more slowly. Therefore, if you’re looking for something comforting, filling, and healthy, a soup filled with veggies if the perfect option. You can also add in additional healthy fats like coconut oil or ghee to make it even more filling.
If you find yourself staring at your snack shelf 10 times a day, try focusing on these satiating foods instead.
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- Samra RA. Fats and Satiety. In: Montmayeur JP, le Coutre J, editors. Fat Detection: Taste, Texture, and Post Ingestive Effects. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2010. Chapter 15. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK53550/
- Buckley, J. D., & Howe, P. R. (2010). Long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may be beneficial for reducing obesity-a review. Nutrients, 2(12), 1212–1230. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu2121212
- Clegg, M. E., V. Ranawana, A. Shafat, and C. J. Henry. “Soups Increase Satiety through Delayed Gastric Emptying yet Increased Glycaemic Response.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 67, no. 1 (January 2013): 8–11. https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2012.152.
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