Throughout history, people have given gratitude before they eat by treating meal-time as a way to connect with loved ones while being fully focused on the food in front of them.
It seems that nowadays, most of us don’t pay attention to the things we eat, which leads us to reach out for food that may not be as filling or nutritious as we think. To control the food we eat and our urges to eat more, we need to understand the factors that keep our appetite in check.
So when you think about foods that help you feel fuller, you should look for foods that have fiber, protein or fat, or a combination of all of these things.
Fiber takes a little bit more time for our body to digest and process and so it helps us feel fuller and satisfied for hours because it makes our body take a little more time to work with it. People who eat more fiber have a smaller appetite. Additionally, protein is a really great source of sustained energy that keeps us going for hours and hours. And then finally, fats can be really healthy for us, and they can help us feel really satisfied at the end of a meal, and they tend to leave our stomach at a much slower rate than proteins and carbohydrates.
Here are a few fullness food rock stars that you should consider keeping in your pantry at home:
It starts off with whole grains, which are great for fullness and feeling satisfied because of it being higher in fiber. All whole grains have a little bit of protein as well, and they tend to have more B vitamins than their refined counterparts. One of my favourites is actually quinoa.
Quinoa is technically a seed but is classified as a whole grain, and it’s great because it is full of fiber. It’s also a great source of protein and is one of the few plant-based sources of all 20 amino acids which you normally get from a meat source like chicken, beef, or fish. Quinoa is also a great source of other minerals, like iron and phosphorous.
There are plenty of ways to including quinoa into your diet- you could have it as its own side dish, throw it into soups, and even use some leftover quinoa in a salad. You could also make a hot cereal out of it- like a hot breakfast, which is really delicious!
High protein foods:
Another pantry staple that you should always have are beans and legumes as they are full of protein and fiber as well. One of my favourites are dried black beans, which I always have in my pantry. They are full of fiber and protein- 15 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein in one cup. Plus, they are a great source of iron as well and fluoride. So it’s a really great nutrition powerhouse to have on hand.
Black beans are great in soups, stews, chilies; I love them on salads; you could put them in a wrap, or have them in an omelet. It’s really versatile and great food to have around to help you keep feeling full for hours.
Foods rich in healthy fats:
Finally, nuts of all stripes are great for feeling full as they are full of healthy fats. They have proteins and also have a little bit of fiber. All nuts have some advantages, for example, almonds are a great source of Vitamin E, and walnuts are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids- specifically ALA. They are all healthy and also really versatile.
You could use nuts in salads, in your oatmeal, you could put them on a yogurt parfait, and they’re great for using in baked dishes. And just having a few as a snack is a great idea. Pair this with a piece of fruit, and it will help you feel full for hours and hours.
Another thing to keep in mind is having realistic expectations of your hunger. If you eat a lunch that’s 250- 300 calories at noon, you should expect to feel hungry a lot, and that’s perfectly normal. But we all need to make some good choices about healthy foods that will really keep you feeling full, so we’re not tempted to snack on things that might not be as nutritious for us on a regular basis.