Do you sometimes find you’re still hungry even after you eat a meal? Take a closer look at what you’re eating. Then consider adding some of these foods to your diet. Each of these six foods has the power to turn down your appetite and help you get full faster and stay full longer.
Feel Fuller with Olive Oil
Ever eat a salad and feel almost as hungry after you finish? One way to make healthy, low-calorie foods more filling is to add a little olive oil. In one study, researchers found olive oil was more satiating than other fats including butter, canola oil and lard. Using an olive oil dressing on your salad and sautéing vegetables in olive oil can make these foods more filling and satisfying.
Why is olive oil such an appetite quencher? This golden yellow oil elevates levels of a neurotransmitter called serotonin. Serotonin helps to increase satiety as well as stabilize blood glucose levels so you don’t feel hungry again so soon. Research shows even the SCENT of olive oil helps with appetite control. Plus, olive oil contains heart-healthy, monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. Cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil is best because it isn’t subjected to high heat. Heat can destroy antioxidants.
Add a Serving of Beans or Lentils to Your Next Meal
Research shows adding beans and lentils to a meal can help you feel fuller faster. Legumes are rich in fiber-rich carbs that are slowly digested. Because they enter your bloodstream slowly, they don’t cause rapid fluctuations in glucose that can make you feel hungry a few hours after a meal. They’re also a decent source of plant-based protein.
Beans are also rich in resistant starch, a type of fiber-like material that’s not completely absorbed. Instead, bacteria in your colon break down resistant starch into short-chain fatty acids. These short-chained fatty acids help with mineral absorption and keep your colon healthy. Because resistant starch isn’t completely absorbed, it fills you up without adding extra calories. Foods with resistant starch improve insulin sensitivity too, according to some research. Beans have a lot of benefits for such an inexpensive food.
Eat Eggs for Breakfast
When you begin the day with a serving of eggs, you’re less likely to feel hungry later in the day. In one study, participants ate either an egg or bagel-based breakfast, each with the same number of calories. Later in the day, the egg eaters felt less hungry and consumed fewer calories relative to the group that started the day with a bagel.
Eggs are a nutritional winner in other respects too. Eggs are a source of high-quality protein your body can easily utilize. Protein is also more satiating than low-fiber carbohydrates. Make eggs a meal by preparing a veggie-rich omelet first thing in the morning. It’ll give you a jumpstart on meeting your veggie quota too.
Start Your Meal with a Cup of Soup
Soup is another satiating food that makes the perfect meal starter. Research shows people eat less at a meal when they enjoy a cup of soup beforehand. Why is soup so filling? A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found soup delays gastric emptying, the rate at which your stomach empties its contents. As a result, you feel full more quickly. Add a protein source and some fiber-rich veggies to your soup and you may not feel like eating the main course! For bonus points, eat a cup of bean soup before your next meal – two appetite-reducing foods in one!
Sprinkle on the Pine Nuts
Ever notice how pesto is so filling? Must be the pine nuts. Pine nuts contain a fatty acid called pinolenic acid. Pinolenic boosts the release of an appetite-suppressing hormone by your intestines called CCK. As a result, you feel full faster. Sprinkle pine nuts on salads, into soups, and onto vegetable dishes. Make a tasty pesto sauce out of basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, olive, and parmesan cheese and use it as a marinade for fish or another lean source of protein. Yummy, nutritious and, of course, filling.
Bite Into an Apple
Apples are another satiety-inducing food. When hunger strikes, skip the cookie and munch on an apple instead. Apples are loaded with pectin, a fiber-like material that helps reign in your appetite. How does it do this? Pectin draws water into your digestive tract, causing it to expand and stretch. This stretching action causes you to feel full faster.
Pectin in apples may have other health benefits as well. Research shows they help lower LDL-cholesterol. Unlike biting into a whole apple, eating applesauce or drinking apple juice doesn’t have the same appetite-suppressing effect. Munch on a whole apple when you need a snack, preferably one that’s organic. Apples are one of the most highly-sprayed types of produce.
The Bottom Line
In general, you’ll feel satisfied with less when you eat more protein, fiber and high-volume foods like vegetables and fruits that have a higher water content. You’ll feel least full when you eat and drink rapidly-absorbed carbohydrates like sugary foods and low-fiber carbs. You’ll also get benefits by adding these six types of food to your diet. Enjoy!
TUM Research News. “Olive oil makes you feel full”
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