Everybody feels hungry, but very few know if their hunger is caused due to the empty stomach or psychological unrest. If we look at “hunger” analytically, obviously, you feel hungry not in your stomach but because of your brain. Nevertheless, hunger can be differentiated as physical hunger, and hunger due to emotional or psychological reasons.
When you are sad, bored, upset, and angry or stressed, you feel like eating snacks or take a cup of coffee or soft drinks. This is not the real physical hunger, rather a sense of hunger caused by your emotions (1).
When you talk of physical hunger, you also talk about food and appetite, particularly of healthy food and foods that keep you full longer. You experience your physical hunger with growling stomach sensations and urgency of eating food. A physical technical process called Migrating Motor Complex – MMC takes about 130 minutes to digest the food we eat. Towards the end of 130 minutes, the final process of the MMC is controlled by a hormone called motilin which activates hunger pangs. Along with this, ghrelin hormone activates AgRP neurons at the hypothalamus segments of the brain which in turn communicates the body about hunger (2).
Hunger is a natural process of the body, and when we are hungry we eat food, get energy and live. Therefore, food is essential not only for our survival but for the survival of the entire living beings under the sky. When you have food in your stomach and intestines, you get a sense of fullness and satisfaction through the hypothalamus segments of the brain. In spite of your feeling full, your appetite may guide you to keep on eating, because the appetite is the desire of eating stimulated by the look, smell or thought of food (3).
Know Your Healthy Food
As we talk about healthy foods that keep you full longer, two basic components come into the discussion; the first is the “healthy food” and the other is the food that gives you the sensation of fullness comparatively for a longer period.
Foods exist since evolution or creation, and all living beings survived consuming varieties of foods irrespective of its good and bad effects. In the contemporary world, the logical sense of food means “healthy food” focussing metabolism, weight-gain, weight-loss, foods those contribute to various diseases in terms of getting diseases and some foods which check or cure diseases.
Sufficient and intensive research studies have been done on “foods” and we have numerous evidence-based documents and reports to establish which are healthy foods or diets for a healthy living. Find out below a few food categories or diet patterns or in simple language “lists of healthy foods” briefly before we go for a list of foods that keep you full longer.
Low or less carbohydrate diet refers to the consumption of food between 45% to 65% calories or daily consumption of food below 45% of calories. Once upon a time when insulin was not in operation, the diabetes management was done strictly on the low-carbohydrate diet.
Low-carbohydrate diets were given more importance as obesity increased alarmingly, particularly in the last two decades. Various research and studies established the efficiency of a low-carbohydrate diet in balancing metabolism, weight-loss and eventually cardio-metabolic benefits (4).
Your daily diet should include the popular low carbohydrate foods such as lean meats like pork, chicken breast or sirloin; eggs; fish; broccoli, cauliflower and leafy green vegetables; nut butter, nuts along with seeds; rapeseed oil, coconut oil and olive oil; strawberries, blueberries, and apples; dairy products which are not sweetened, plain Greek yogurt and plain whole milk (5).
The low-fat/vegetarian diet is basically associated with low-fat foods mostly plant-based foods including eggs, fish, sea-foods, dairy, etc. and are restricted to daily consumption of 20% calorie food intake. Consumption of low-fat plant-based foods reduces the chances of cancer and cardio-metabolic diseases.
A Low-fat vegetarian diet is popularly recommended to check the epidemics of obesity and diabetes. However, natural low-fat diet directly from the plants has been encouraged instead of consuming artificially processed fat-reduced diet. Especially the adults with high-risk myocardial infarction are recommended to consume low-fat plant-based diet directly from nature for maximum benefit and to effectively prevent myocardial infarction (4).
Every healthy food pattern especially those that keep you full longer must include low-fat vegetarian diet directly from nature for a healthy living. The low-fat vegetarian diet includes leafy green vegetable like Romaine lettuce, Collard greens, Spinach, Kale, Arugula, Swiss chard, etc. and vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, Bok choy, etc.
Almost all fruits, irrespective of fresh, dried or cooked, are low-fat vegetarian foods. Besides this, legumes or pulses like lentils, peas, and beans; sweet potato; tart cherry; mushrooms; garlic; egg white; are considered to be low-fat vegetarian foods (6).
The recommendation of low glycemic foods prohibits certain vegetables and some fruits which have high glycemic contents. Low-glycemic foods have become popular particularly in the context of diabetes epidemics. Various studies on both adult and children have demonstrated that a low-glycemic diet is beneficial in weight-loss, diabetes control, insulin metabolism, vascular function, and inflammation. The study also shows that high-glycemic food intake has increased risks of cardiovascular diseases particularly in the case of women (4).
If you are interested and determined towards healthy foods that keep you full longer, you should try to avoid high glycemic foods like potatoes, short white grain rice, white bread, carrot, etc. and include low-glycemic diets like whole grains, legume, nuts, no-glycemic fruits and vegetables, less sugary foods, cakes, candy, cookies, sweet drinks etc. In order to give you a clear understanding of the glycemic index, look below for a brief description: (7)
- Low-glycemic foods below 55: Beans, milk, fruit, soy products, pasta, lentils, porridge, and grainy bread.
- Medium glycemic foods between the range of 55 to 70: Honey, orange, wholemeal bread, and basmati rice.
- High glycemic foods more than 70: Potato, short-grain rice, and white bread (7).
The Mediterranean diet is basically focussed on the traditional diet pattern of Mediterranean countries. A recent study claims that the Mediterranean diet is much better than the low-fat diet in dealing with cardiac risk cases.
Mediterranean diet is normally comprised of olive oil, fruits and vegetables, legumes, beans, seeds, nuts, specific dairy, whole grains, fish, seafood, limited intake of meat, and moderate consumption of wine. Mediterranean diet pattern is established as one of the successful healthy food consumption practices around the world which you can consider in your diet (4).
The Paleolithic food pattern is derived from the foods of Homo sapiens of Stone Age who survived by gathering and hunting. The gathering represents the plant food and the hunting is meat. The Paleolithic diet primarily discourages processed foods and recommends consumption of vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts along with eggs and meat. Diary and grain foods are completely excluded from the Paleolithic foods (4).
The vegan food is completely plant-food which abandons entire animal products even egg, dairy, and meat. However, the vegan diet is still controversial in terms of its nutritional supply to the body and related healthy living without diseases or illness (4).
The DASH diet or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet can be seen as a mixed and balanced food pattern which includes both plant food and animal product with the low-fat and non-fat pattern. DASH diet has been prominently used as healthy and nutritious foods for healthy living as well as to prevent diseases.
The DASH diet initially was recommended for blood pressure, but later adopted universally for weight-loss and as a general and ideal healthy diet for all. When you prepare for foods that keep you full longer, you should include DASH foods for the overall improvement of your health and for healthy living (4).
Now, What Makes You Full Longer?
You already know what your healthy foods are. But do you know which foods or ingredients in the foods keep you full and why? Look below what makes or what you full or are the components in your healthy foods makes you full:
Fiber-rich foods give you the sensation of fullness in your stomach and brain, and they take a longer time to get digested in your stomach. Eventually, after taking fiber-rich foods you will feel full for longer. The fiber-rich foods normally have low calories. Therefore, even if you eat fiber-rich foods you will have no weight-gain issues (8).
People who eat protein-rich foods feel and stay full longer. The protein affects and activates the hormones which are responsible for satiety. Therefore, if you want to eat foods that keep you full longer, eat protein-rich foods. However, meat comes under the list of protein-rich food. But, if you are concerned about your metabolism and weight-loss, you should consume lean meat (8).
As you consume fat foods, your appetite is regulated and reduced. Ultimately, you begin to feel full longer. If you consume about 40% of fat daily it will not create any metabolic issues and affect your weight-loss (8).
15 Healthy Foods That Keep You Full Longer
Feeling hungry is a tricky issue. If you are hungry, you need to first know whether you are physically hungry or emotionally hungry. Eventually, you will have to eat food to satisfy your hunger. But on the other hand, if you are not careful about your foods, you will put your health at stake in relation to diseases like diabetes, heart, and other organ-related complications, various other health hazards, weight gain, obesity, etc.
Therefore, you are required to get a thorough understanding of the foods that give you a sense of fullness for a longer period. Watch out below the list of 15 healthy foods that keep you full longer.
Eggs are delicious and have protein and fat. We all prefer eggs almost in all meals but particularly in breakfast. Some studies confirm that eggs in your breakfast help you to feel full longer all through the day. It happens because of the high protein and fat in eggs (8).
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
Kale, broccoli, arugula, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts are vegetables rich with nutrient and fiber. These vegetables prevent cancer and resist heart, kidney complications. Above all, if you eat these vegetables you will keep full for a longer period (8).
Oats have high contents of protein and fiber. However, before purchasing oatmeal, make sure that they are not high in sugar. You can mix coconut, fresh fruits and nuts in your oatmeal and make it delicious. This will serve your purpose of keeping you full longer (8).
4. Whey Protein
Whey protein is one of the best foods ensuring feeling full all through the day. Once you take this in your breakfast, particularly the organic whey, it will provide you with your desired fullness feeling the entire day. You need not necessarily opt protein powder; you can very well get whey in cheese, yogurt, milk, and chocolate milk, etc (8).
Nut butter and nuts have high protein, fat, fiber along with other numerous nutrients. Nut butter like almond butter or pistachios is delicious snacks you can anytime take. Never ignore nuts as this is one of the important foods that keep you full longer for the entire day (8).
6. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is full of protein and can serve you a tasty breakfast or snacks. The protein in the yogurt will keep you full for the entire day. However, flavored yogurt may sweeter than your taste because of the high sugar content in it. You may have to get plain and add your own taste of sweetener and keep you safe from possible health hazard (8).
Salmon is full of protein and fat which gives you the required fullness for a longer period. Take salmon along with vegetable, and you will find the wonders of feeling full for the rest of the day. It will even meet your emotional hunger and will not permit you to take additional coffee or snacks (8).
Almost all fruits are a blessing if you are looking for foods that keep you full longer. Fruits, particularly the apples, pears, bananas, blackberries, and raspberries are full of fiber but never contribute to your blood sugar. These fruits have “pectin” which regulates the appetite and keep you full for longer (8).
Cheese has high fat and protein which can keep you full longer. However, cheese has also high calories which may lead to weight gain. Therefore, choose your quantity or can mix it with vegetables for the maximum benefit of feeling full for longer (8).
Avocados are perhaps the top foods that keep you full longer for the rest of the day. A study shows that half of an avocado in your meal can keep you away from any other food for the rest of the day. You can add avocado to your salad and enjoy the taste as well as maintain a fat balance (8).
Peas, beans, and lentils are the best foods with high fiber, protein, and other nutrients, and have the potentialities to keep you full longer. These legumes are high carb foods but are preferred foods for all. A number of studies have established that persons who eat legumes stay remarkably full for longer (8).
Seeds like sesame, flax, pumpkin, hemp, and chia are foods that keep you full longer. You can add them to your salad, yogurt or meals and grow the taste. These seeds are full of numerous nutrients, fats, and fiber. However, they have also high calories. You need to add these seed proportionately to avoid weight gain (8).
13. Dark Chocolate
Many people take chocolate after food. If you are one of them, try dark chocolate after your meal. Choose cacao in case your preference is milk chocolate. Dark chocolate will keep you full longer. Besides this, dark chocolate has magnesium to check your blood pressure (8).
14. Sweet Potato
As per a study, sweet potato regulates the digestive enzyme and slows the processes of digestion. Eventually, it remains longer in the stomach and thus becomes one of the effective foods that keep you full longer. Besides this, sweet potato contains vitamin A and C to benefit you in your overall health (9).
15. Boiled potato
Potatoes are considered to be high carb foods and have protein and fiber. They also contain vitamin C and potassium. A study shows that in a satiety indexing test cooked potato scored 323 and became the highest among 38 food tested. Therefore, in order to feel full longer take boiled potatoes (10).
Tips to Keep You Full Longer
Besides the foods we mentioned above, there are other popular practices too by which you feel the fullness for a longer period. Follow the below practices to keep you full longer:
Eat your food slowly
The best way to feel full with less food is to eat slowly. A study shows that you get more satisfaction by eating slowly (11). Your eating time should be between 20 to 30 minutes. By slow eating, you will be forced to give more attention to your food and eventually get satisfied and full. (12)
Add vegetable and fruits to your meal
Consumption of vegetable and fruits in your meals makes you feel full sooner and longer. The USDA recommendation says that each woman or man should consume 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetable every day (13, 14). Both vegetable and fruits are fiber-rich with a high content of water and air. Intake of more fiber and water normally make the stomach full as well as create a sense of fullness in your brain (15).
Drink water and then eat your food
Drink at least 230 ml of water before you eat the foods that keep you full longer. This will create a sense of fullness in your brain. However, you need to continuously drink water throughout the day. In fact, when you feel hungry, you not actually hungry, but you are thirsty (16).
Do not forget to take your breakfast
Start your day with your breakfast. Try to take your breakfast within an hour of your wakeup. You must never skip your breakfast. If you do not take your breakfast, you will not feel full in your other meal throughout the day (17).
Use a blue plate to eat
Studies have established that if you eat off a blue plate you will eat less but feel full longer. It happens probably because normally the color of our food is not blue. Therefore, when the food is served on a blue plate, eventually, the appetite is reduced resulting in less consumption of food (18).
In the contemporary food-conscious world, eating the right food in the right quantity have become essential for a healthy living. It is already more than two decades that obesity and obesity-related diseases like diabetes, heart, and kidney-related complications are increasing like epidemics. We have processed foods in abundant at one hand, and hunger at the other. If you just go on eating to satisfy your hunger, you are definitely going to ruin your health in terms of weight gain and obesity-related hazardous diseases.
In the above context, it is necessary to be choosy on the foods that keep you full longer. Remember, food is the other name of life. If you neglect the right food at the right time in the right quantity, you may have to risk your health and your life as well. Therefore, it is wiser for you and all of us as well, to consume organic and nutritious food in the right manner for a healthy living.