What Makes a Food Filling?
Many factors determine a food’s satiety value, or how filling it is relative to its calorie content. The calorie/satiety ratio is measured on a scale called the satiety index (1).
The satiety index also measures a food’s ability to make you feel full, reduce your hunger and lower your calorie intake over the course of the day.
Some foods simply do a better job at satisfying hunger and preventing overeating than others.
Filling foods tend to have the following qualities:
- High protein: Studies show protein is more filling than carbs and fat. Diets higher in protein increase satiety and lead to lower overall calorie intake than lower-protein diets do (4, 5).
- High volume: Studies indicate that the volume of food consumed strongly influences satiety. When foods contain a lot of water or air, the volume is increased without adding calories (2, 3).
- Low energy density: This means that a food is low in calories for its weight. Foods with low energy density can help you feel full for fewer calories (7).
- High fiber: Fiber provides bulk and helps you feel full. It also slows the movement of food through your digestive tract, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer (6).
Here are 12 filling foods you can eat a lot of without getting fat.
1. Boiled Potatoes
Because of their higher carbohydrate content, many people avoid potatoes when they are trying to lose weight, but they should not.
Whole potatoes are loaded with vitamins, fibre and other important nutrients. They also contain a certain type of starch called resistant starch.