No one likes to feel “hangry,” but we do ever so often! In such case, instead of grabbing just any food, think about the nutrients. Focus on the complete package – fiber, protein, and healthy fats. They’ll keep you satisfied for a while! On the other hand, some food will actually make you hungrier.
Fiber, protein, and fats are satisfying. Fiber, specifically, is a type of carbohydrate that’s your body’s first source of fuel. Although they have a bad reputation, you don’t get a grumbling stomach with fibers. Each nutrient keeps hunger at bay. Together, they work even better! But, here is a list of certain foods that are unsatisfying, and how you can possibly make them better.
1. Egg Whites
Eggs are rich in protein, but that’s about it. Don’t be afraid of the yolk. One or two eggs a day won’t bring on heart disease in healthy folks, and the fat adds substance.1
To satisfy hunger, eat it with veggies and quinoa for fiber. Top with avocado for healthy fats. If you have a high total and LDL cholesterol, you’re the exception. Egg whites are the better choice, but you’ll need to add other ingredients to stay full.
Juicing might be trendy, but the process removes skin. That’s actually where you’ll find most of the fiber! So, make a smoothie instead. Leave on the skin and add nut butter for both protein and fat. Avocado is another excellent source of healthy fat. You can also add plant-based protein powder or grass-fed whey protein to a smoothie. The extra (and healthy) calories will bulk things up.
3. Diet Soda
Trying to wean yourself off soda? Diet soda is a smart choice but not for the long-term. The artificial sweeteners will actually make you hungrier.2 Artificial sweeteners don’t act on the same taste pathways as real sugar. As a result, your brain’s sugar craving is never satisfied and your appetite just grows.3 4
As much as possible, avoid diet soda. Make a protein fruit smoothie or drink lots of water, because thirst and dehydration can actually show up as hunger.5
4. White Pasta, Rice, Or Bread
White refined grains are stripped of fiber, a nutrient that slows down the breakdown of starch into glucose. Without it, blood sugar will spike and you’re left feeling hangry.6 So, reach for whole grains when possible. For even more substance, ditch butter and processed jam for fresh fruit, nut butter, or avocado, which will give you protein and healthy fats.
5. Salty Snacks
Salty snacks like chips and crackers might seem like a quick fix, but they’ll make you hungrier. A 2017 animal study found that high-salt foods actually increase the appetite. Sodium draws the water, but urea accumulates in the kidney to work against that. However, producing urea takes a lot of energy, which leads to a hungrier stomach.7 To add to this, many salty snacks are refined carbs, too.
Eat fruit or yogurt, or mix them together for fiber and protein. Craving something crunchy? Nuts have both the nutrients, but make sure they’re unsalted.
Limit these foods when possible and go for healthier options instead. Know what’s good for you and what will satisfy your hunger. Never go hangry again!
|↑1||Eggs. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.|
|↑2||Artificial Sweeteners. Harvard T.H. Chan, School of Public Health.|
|↑3||Frank, Guido KW, Tyson A. Oberndorfer, Alan N. Simmons, Martin P. Paulus, Julie L. Fudge, Tony T. Yang, and Walter H. Kaye. “Sucrose activates human taste pathways differently from artificial sweetener.” Neuroimage 39, no. 4 (2008): 1559-1569.|
|↑4||Wang, Qiao-Ping, Yong Qi Lin, Lei Zhang, Yana A. Wilson, Lisa J. Oyston, James Cotterell, Yue Qi et al. “Sucralose promotes food intake through NPY and a neuronal fasting response.” Cell metabolism 24, no. 1 (2016): 75-90.|
|↑5||Mattes, Richard D. “Hunger and thirst: issues in measurement and prediction of eating and drinking.” Physiology & behavior 100, no. 1 (2010): 22-32.|
|↑6||Whole Grains. Harvard T.H. Chan, School of Public Health.|
|↑7||Kitada, Kento, Steffen Daub, Yahua Zhang, Janet D. Klein, Daisuke Nakano, Tetyana Pedchenko, Louise Lantier et al. “High salt intake reprioritizes osmolyte and energy metabolism for body fluid conservation.” The Journal of clinical investigation 127, no. 5 (2017): 1944-1959.|