The Filling Foods Guide

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What Do Filling Foods Have In Common?

Filling foods share some common characteristics regardless of the food group. These characteristics include the amount of protein, fiber, fat and water in the natural composition of each food. Protein is an extremely important macronutrient that can influence satiety hormones to keep you feeling full (Paddon-Jones et al., 2008 ; Halton & Hu, 2004). Like protein, fiber keeps you feeling full but also delays the emptying of the stomach and increases digestion time. (Burton-Freeman, 2000 ; Clark & Slavin, 2013). In comparison to protein and fiber, fat levels should be kept low in accordance with a healthy diet since they lead to a higher caloric makeup. The amount of water in each food is another reason why it is so filling

(Rolls, Bell, & Thorwart, 1999). When a food contains a lot of water naturally but also contains many necessary nutrients and vitamins, it is considered low-density. Low-density foods have very little calories in proportion to their weight. These low-density foods, like fruits and vegetables, should make up the majority of your diet since you can eat more while consuming fewer calories.

What Are The Most Filling Foods?

  • Veggies

Vegetables are low-density foods full of fiber that keep you filling full. Also, because it takes some work to chew and digest vegetables, their thermogenic properties are quite high and can further support your weight loss journey. A previous study found that eating a large portion of salad before consuming pasta increased feeling of satiety and reduced overall calorie intake (Rolls, Roe, & Meengs, 2004). Spinach is a great vegetable to combat feelings of hunger and cravings. Spinach has a high amount of Thylakoids which are membranes that are actually involved in our appetite regulation and have an effect on our food-based reward system (Rebello et al., 2015). A 2015 study uncovered that the consumption of thylakoids, specifically, reduced hunger by 21%, increased satiety by 14% and decreased cravings for snacks between 30% and 38% (Stenbloom et al., 2015).

  • Fruits

Similarly to vegetables, fruit is another food group full of fiber that ranks high on the satiety scale. Keep in mind that drinking fruit juice and eating fruits is not the same thing. Fruit juices usually contain a lot of sugars and will not keep you full over a long period of time (Flood-Obbagy & Rolls, 2009).

  • Nuts

Although nuts can be higher in calories compared to fruits in vegetables, they can do wonders in terms of satiety! According to a 2017 study, walnut consumption in combination with a reduced-energy diet can effectively promote weight loss (Rock et al., 2017)! Almonds are another great nut to eat for snacks! Contrarily to walnuts, eating a small snack of almonds can actually decrease food intake in following meals in addition to providing feelings of satiety (Hull et al., 2015).

  • Potatoes

Although potatoes have carbs, they are extremely filling, especially when compared to other high-carb foods. Potatoes are high in water with moderate amount of fiber and protein and very little fat. Potatoes may even help suppress appetite due to a protein called proteinase inhibitor 2 (Komarnytsky, Cook, & Raskin, 2011).

  • Whole Grains

Whole grains have been proven to combat feelings of hunger, even when in the form of pasta (Cioffi et al., 2016). However, it is unclear if consuming whole grain will affect subsequent caloric intake in later meals.

  • Oats

Depending on any additional ingredients, oatmeal is fairly low in calories and has a lot of fiber, specifically the viscous soluble fiber beta-glucan (Rebello, O’Niel, & Greenway, 2016). Beta-glucan may produce satiety hormones and delay the emptying of the stomach which further supports weight loss and maintenance (Kristensen & Jensen, 2011 ; Beck et al., 2009).

Rules to Eat by

If you’re hungry, the higher the likelihood is that you will reach for sweets or other unhealthy foods in order to fill your cravings. That’s why you should incorporate as many filling foods, like fruits and vegetables as possible in order to fight feeling hungry. When in doubt, stay away from processed foods as not only contain high levels of fat and sugars, but can also contain chemicals detrimental to your health.

By The Nido Lifestyle Team

Works Cited

Beck, E. J., Tosh, S. M., Batterham, M. J., Tapsell, L. C., & Huang, X. (2009). Oat β-glucan increases

postprandial cholecystokinin levels, decreases insulin response and extends subjective satiety in overweight subjects. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research,53(10), 1343-1351. doi:10.1002/mnfr.200800343

Bligh, H. F., Godsland, I. F., Frost, G., Hunter, K. J., Murray, P., Macaulay, K., . . . Berry, M. J. (2015). Plant-rich mixed meals based on Palaeolithic diet principles have a dramatic impact on incretin, peptide YY and satiety response, but show little effect on glucose and insulin homeostasis: An acute-effects randomised study. British Journal of Nutrition,113(04), 574-584. doi:10.1017/s0007114514004012

Burton-Freeman, B. (2000). Dietary fiber and energy regulation. Journal of Nutrition,130(2S Suppl), 272S-275S. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from

Cioffi, I., Ibrugger, S., Bache, J., Thomassen, M. T., Contaldo, F., Pasanisi, F., & Kristensen, M. (2016). Effects on satiation, satiety and food intake of wholegrain and refined grain pasta. Appetite,107, 152-158. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2016.08.002

Clark, M. J., & Slavin, J. L. (2013). The effect of fiber on satiety and food intake: A systematic review. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition,32(3), 200-211. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from

Flood-Obbagy, J. E., & Rolls, B. J. (2009). The effect of fruit in different forms on energy intake and satiety at a meal. Appetite,52(2), 416-422. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2008.12.001

Halton, T. L., & Hu, F. B. (2004). The Effects of High Protein Diets on Thermogenesis, Satiety and Weight Loss: A Critical Review. Journal of the American College of Nutrition,23(5), 373-385. doi:10.1080/07315724.2004.10719381

Hull, S., Re, R., Chambers, L., Echaniz, A., & Wickham, M. S. (2015). A mid-morning snack of almonds generates satiety and appropriate adjustment of subsequent food intake in healthy women. European Journal of Nutrition,54(5), 803-810. doi:10.1007/s00394-014-0759-z

Komarnytsky, S., Cook, A., & Raskin, I. (2010). Potato protease inhibitors inhibit food intake and increase circulating cholecystokinin levels by a trypsin-dependent mechanism. International Journal of Obesity,35(2), 236-243. doi:10.1038/ijo.2010.192

Kristensen, M., & Jensen, M. G. (2011). Dietary fibres in the regulation of appetite and food intake. Importance of viscosity. Appetite,56(1), 65-70. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2010.11.147

Paddon-Jones, D., Westman, E., Mattes, R. D., Wolfe, R., Astrup, A., & Westerterp-Plantenga, M. (2008). Protein, weight management, and satiety. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,87(5), 1558S-1561S. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from

Rebello, C. J., O’Neil, C. E., & Greenway, F. L. (2015). Gut fat signaling and appetite control with special emphasis on the effect of thylakoids from spinach on eating behavior. International Journal of Obesity,39(12), 1679-1688. doi:10.1038/ijo.2015.142

Rebello, C. J., O’Neil, C. E., & Greenway, F. L. (2016). Dietary fiber and satiety: The effects of oats on satiety. Nutrition Reviews,74(2), 131-147. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuv063

Rock, C. L., Flatt, S. W., Barkai, H., Pakiz, B., & Heath, D. D. (2017). Walnut consumption in a weight reduction intervention: Effects on body weight, biological measures, blood pressure and satiety. Nutrition Journal,16(1). doi:10.1186/s12937-017-0304-z

Rolls, B. J., Bell, E. A., & Thorwart, M. L. (1999). Water incorporated into a food but not served with a food decreases energy intake in lean women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,70(4), 448-455. doi:10.1093/ajcn/70.4.448

Rolls, B. J., Roe, L. S., & Meengs, J. S. (2004). Salad and satiety: Energy density and portion size of a first-course salad affect energy intake at lunch. Journal of the American Dietetic Association,104(10), 1570-1576. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2004.07.001

Stenblom, E., Egecioglu, E., Landin-Olsson, M., & Erlanson-Albertsson, C. (2015). Consumption of thylakoid-rich spinach extract reduces hunger, increases satiety and reduces cravings for palatable food in overweight women. Appetite,91, 209-219. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2015.04.051

Jennie Luna