If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’ve probably heard the term “calories in, calories out.” If you consume more calories than you need, you’re going to gain weight. Conversely, if you burn more calories than you consume, you will burn fat. Counting calories can lead you to some interesting conclusions. Some days, your allotted calorie intake may feel like enough, and some days it doesn’t. Why is that? It’s because foods have different abilities to make you feel full, and this is sometimes referred to as a food’s satiety index.

The concept of a satiety index was developed by Australian Researcher Dr. Susanne Holt. She had University of Sydney students eat different foods, all of the same caloric intake. They rated their feelings of hunger after eating the portion and how it changed over the course of two hours. She found that some foods provide a lot more satiety than others despite having similar caloric values.

Most Filling Foods

Boiled and baked potatoes have been shown to have the highest satiety index. Pulses, such as beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils, provide immediate satisfaction. They are also packed with slowly digesting carbohydrates, high fiber, and protein contents. Fiber is known to improve digestion, control blood sugar and manage cholesterol. It also contributes to a feeling of fullness. Scientific evidence consistently shows that protein is the most effective macronutrient for providing satiety.

Least Filling Foods

Some of the least filling foods are those that we desire the most. Croissants, cakes, and donuts are low on the satiety index. Snacks and candies are usually not very satisfying. Of those kinds of foods, the fiber-rich snack of popcorn outperforms the others. Even though boiled potatoes are a satiety star, fried potatoes were not considered to be very filling. Most cereals you see at the grocery store don’t rank very well on the satiety index. However, oatmeal is one of the most filling foods, according to studies.

Vanishing Caloric Density

Food Scientist, Steven Witherly, brought to light how many popular snacks are created to be addictive. Researchers have spent decades learning about the way that people respond to different food factors and how they can be used to make consumers crave more. One aspect that makes us keep going back for more is crunch. Studies show that even foods labeled as crunchy are more desirable to the consumer. This is even more true when we hear the crunch. Vanishing caloric density refers to how some foods, usually salty snacks, start with a crunch and then melt in your mouth. This tricks our brains into believing that they have no calories and therefore results in overeating. Unfortunately, the calories don’t actually vanish.

At AZ Tastebuds, we understand the way different foods contribute to feelings of fullness. That’s why we can create healthy meals that will help you feel full while sticking to your caloric goals. For healthy and tasty meals prepared for you and your family, we’ve got you covered.