Best & Worst Foods to Satisfy Your Hunger

By: Holly Pevzner  |  March/April 2017

5 foods to eat to tame your hunger (and 2 to stay away from)

We've all listened to our stomach say, "feed me!" right after we had a meal. What gives? Well the kind of food you eat can either stoke your appetite or leave you feeling satisfied for hours. When it comes to foods that really satisfy, it's OK to play favorites. Here, Ellen Albertson, Ph.D., R.D., serves up the best and worst foods to satisfy your hunger.
 

Featured recipe: Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto & Shrimp

Best Hunger Busters

Fiber


Beans, pears, whole-wheat pasta, oats and other fiber-rich eats provide bulk and slow digestion, which keeps you feeling fuller, longer.
Try it: Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce

Protein


Eating about 25 grams of protein at a meal will help balance out the hunger-stoking effects of carbohydrates. Examples include 3 ounces chicken breast, 1 cup cottage cheese, 6 ounces Greek yogurt with an ounce of chopped almonds, 5 ounces canned tuna.
Try it: Chicken Quinoa Fried Rice

Healthy fats


An easy way to prevent the insulin boom-and-bust at a meal is to add some healthy unsaturated fats. Oily fish, nuts, seeds and avocados are slower to metabolize, helping us feel full longer.
Try it: Salmon Avocado Poke Bowl

Broth-based soup


Brothy soups and other foods high in water, such as fruits and some veggies (cucumber, celery, cabbage, tomato, etc.), bump up the food volume in your stomach so you feel full faster. (For a double dose of satiety, add fiber-rich beans to your soup.)
Try it: Mexican Cabbage Soup

Full-fat dairy


The higher fat content in whole-milk products can make you feel fuller faster. Even though they're higher in calories than their lower-fat counterparts, you'll probably eat less.
Try it: Little Gem Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese & Herb Dressing

Worst Hunger Igniters

Refined carbs


White bread, white rice, white pasta and packaged goods that have had all their whole-grain goodness extracted during processing are metabolized quickly, spiking your insulin levels and causing you to be hungrier, sooner.

Sugar


Sugar not only drives the insulin crash-and-burn, but it may also promote leptin resistance. Leptin is the "I'm full" hormone, so leptin resistance spurs hunger and food cravings.

Watch: How to Make Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto

Related:
High-Fiber Recipes
High-Protein Dinner Recipes
Metabolism-Boosting Snacks