All Food is Not Created Equal

All food is not created equal. Certain foods are much better at making us feel fuller with fewer calories, making it much easier to reduce caloric intake without feeling hungry. This may help us lose weight. Scientific studies show that certain foods have less fullness per calorie because they lack fiber and protein. Foods like white bread are not very filling per calorie. Whole-grain bread with its extra fiber would be more filling. The least satisfying foods regarding the satiety index are calorie-dense bakery products like cakes, cookies, and donuts. Fortunately, foods like lean meats, whole fruits, vegetables, beans, and even a plain baked potato seem to be very filling per calorie.

What is the satiety index?

Satiety is a term used to explain the feeling of fullness and loss of appetite that happens after eating. A scale called the satiety index measures this effect. It was developed in 1995, in a study that tested 240-calorie servings of 38 different foods. The foods were ranked according to their ability to satisfy hunger.

There is something about natural whole foods that are unprocessed or minimally processed that makes them more filling, less likely to be overeaten, and less addicting. This is in large part due to these foods having more protein and more fiber. Highly processed foods/man-made foods can drive us to overeat when they interact with our brains. The added sugar, white flour, and added fats cause a dopamine rush in our brain's reward center. This burst of dopamine makes us temporally feel good, and it can be very addicting. So if you do not want to overeat and be a prisoner to your food cravings, eat minimally processed food from the farm and not highly processed food from the factory.

Other examples of foods that tend to be more filling but won't cause weight gain are:

  • Oatmeal
  • Broth-based soups
  • Salads 
  • Nuts 
  • Avocado 
  • Eggs
  • Cottage cheese
  • Fish 
  • Beans 
  • Popcorn

Consuming these foods in combination with a balanced diet, moderate exercise, and proper sleep can help keep hunger away.

If you are interested in learning more about healthy foods and weight loss, contact Firelands Weight Management and Nutrition Clinic. We are here to assist individuals in the management and treatment that is needed to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Weight management is a challenging issue for an ever-increasing percentage of our population, mainly due to genetics and the environment. It's NOT just a lack of willpower, as so many of you have heard over and over again. At Firelands, we use evidence-based, scientific strategies to deliver a comprehensive, individualized plan that meets each specific person's needs. 

Learn why weight gain starts with the brain. Weight loss is NOT only dependent on diet and exercise! The team also provides optional group support targeted at education, friendship, and faith. Call 419-557-6992 or visit us at Firelands Weight Management and Nutrition Clinic.

References: Filling Foods That Won't Fill You Out, Slide Show Reviewed by Christine Mikstas, RD, LD on August 08, 2019,,

15 Foods That Are Incredibly Filling written by Hrefna Palsdottir, MS on July 31, 2016 ,,