Susie is currently a brand ambassador for Australian Bananas. To learn more about the partnership, click here. This is a sponsored post.
Foods for Fullness
Is there anything worse than feeling hungry? Unlike thirst which is a relatively weak sensation, unsatisfied hunger can drive us crazy, resulting in us seeking and eating foods that we never usually would to satisfy us. Indeed when clients describe themselves as feeling constantly hungry it can be an indication that their baseline diet is lacking in some of the essential nutrients that help to keep us full. So if you often feel hungry and unsatisfied, here are some of the reasons why and the key foods you can focus on to keep full and satisfied.
The foods that inundate our diets in modern, busy lives give much insight into why we eat a lot more than we once did. The influx of processed snack foods made using refined starches and sugars – white bread, fruit juices, pastries and refined grains and cereals – are all foods that contain far less fibre than their more natural counterparts, as well as carbohydrates that are more rapidly digested. This results in fluctuating blood glucose levels and subsequent hunger. These foods can also be consumed quickly, require minimal amounts of chewing and see us hungry again an hour or two after eating them.
What are the best foods to eat when you are training? Click here to see.
As a general rule of thumb, the more natural a food is, the higher the fibre content, the longer it will take to digest. Take a banana for example; a whole piece of the fruit contains at least 3g of fibre and just 100-120 calories, but when fruit is juiced you generally consume more than double the number of calories and sugars, minus the fibre when consumed whole with the skin intact it is a relatively low calorie, high fibre food. The same can be said for a potato – when mashed, or made into chips, we remove some of the fibre, often add fat and wonder why potatoes are suddenly making us fatter. -. As such, for fullness fresh is always best.
The other important factor linked to fullness is the way we eat, often finding ourselves grabbing a bar or snack on the run and consuming it quickly. When we eat this way not only do we often forget we even ate the snack but these types of processed snacks are generally made with refined carbohydrates and contain minimal amounts of protein, and as such are digested very quickly. Instead if we actually sit down and enjoy a nutritionally balanced snack such as a banana with Greek yoghurt or a handful of nuts, a snack that contains some slowly digested carbs along with plenty of fibre and protein, you will find yourself full for at least 2-3 hours – hunger crisis diverted. For this reason, nutrient balance is crucial when you are planning your snacks and meals. Check out our list of filling snack foods to help you avoid extreme hunger through the day.
It may also be helpful to know that the average Australian eats far less dietary fibre than they should. Ideally we need 30g of fibre every single day to keep our bowel healthy but also to feel full and satisfied after our meals and snacks. To get this amount of fibre every day you need to choose wholegrain bread and cereals; enjoy 2 pieces of fresh fruit a day as well as at least 2-3 cups of salad or vegetables – check out our fibre counter to see how much you are getting each day.
Top 5 filling snack foods
• 1 banana and ½ cup Greek yoghurt + 1 tbsp. nuts or seeds
• 4 wholegrain crackers with cheese and tomato
• Wholemeal banana muffin
• 20 mixed nuts + Piece of fruit
• Cut up vegetable sticks with 3 tbsp. hummus
Food | Fibre Content
½ cup peas / beans | 3g
2 Weetbix | 3g
1 banana | 3g
½ cup berries | 2g
½ cup All Bran Flakes | 4g
1 slice wholemeal bread | 2g
1/2 cup baked beans | 8g
1/2 cup white pasta | 1g
1 cup wholemeal pasta | 5g
See Susie’s earlier post on which fruit is healthiest, here.