A decade ago researchers in Australia came up with the "satiety index," a way to determine how satisfied you feel after eating certain foods. Participants ate a 240-calorie portion of each food, then rated their satiety over 2 hours. Using that information, scientists put together a list of the best foods for keeping you full — and new research has proven them right time and time again. Make these tummy-toppers the staples on your next shopping list.
1 white potatoes
Curse carbs all you want, but fiber-packed potatoes kept participants in the Australian study full 2 hours after eating — three times longer than the average food. But beware: Researchers were surprised to find that fatty fried potatoes like chips and French fries weren't as satisfying and didn't fare as well.
They've been called the "perfect protein," and a new study confirms protein's role in satiety. Researchers at the University of Washington found that people who eat a 30 percent protein diet ate 441 calories less each day than those on a 15 percent protein diet.
It's the most satisfying breakfast cereal around, providing more protein per serving than any other grain as well as a good dose of fiber. "Add some low-fat dairy like yogurt or skim milk and you should stay full all morning," says Elisa Zied, R.D., author of So What Can I Eat? and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.
Their high fiber content is key. According to Ida Laquatra, Ph.D., R.D., director of global nutrition for Heinz, "research shows that high-fiber foods are processed slower and last longer in the stomach, resulting in a feeling of fullness long after they have been eaten."
Your last piece of yellowtail sashimi may send you calling for pizza an hour after you finish, but cooked whitefish is proven to keep you full. For best results, steam or grill a thick whitefish, such as cod, bass, or halibut.
Research from Pennsylvania State University found that dieters who ate soup two times per day were more successful in losing weight and maintained, on average, a total weight loss of 16 pounds after 1 year. Chunky, broth-based soups, such as chicken and vegetable, are most filling.
An apple a day can keep you healthyand full. High water content may be the reason. "Foods that contain water have more bulk and a lower energy density — meaning you get more food for less calories," Zied says. And do we even need to mention the fiber?
Packed with protein and micronutrients like iron and zinc, a little beef goes a long way. Partner beef with a high-fiber side dish like wild rice or bulgur and you can close the kitchen after dinner.
"Salad adds the bulk to a meal that keeps you full with less calories," according to Zied. Additional research from Penn State shows that people who eat salad at the start of a meal wind up taking in fewer calories all day than those who skip salad.
A great snack that provides bulk, popcorn keeps your mouth moving longer than the same amount of calories of other snacks like potato chips or pretzels.
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