7 Foods That Prevent Cravings and Hunger Pangs

   |  Updated: September 06, 2017 16:44 IST

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7 Foods That Prevent Cravings and Hunger Pangs
Highlights
  • Eggs are great sources of high quality proteins which makes them filling
  • Cottage cheese is low in fats and carbohydrates
  • Legumes such as beans, peas and lentils are loaded with fiber
Losing or maintaining weight does not only require cutting back on calories but also to load up on foods that have a high satiety value, which simply means that they keep you full for longer and thus, help in preventing unwanted cravings and unnecessary episodes of binge eating that can totally ruin your diet plan. As the phrase hints, these keep you satisfied until the next meal time. The Satiety Index which was developed in 1995 measures how well a food satisfies you and keeps hunger pangs at bay. Certain foods may be rich in fiber and proteins that take longer to digest and thus, keep you full while others may fill you up with fewer calories. Take a look at some of these foods that you might want to include in your diet -

1. Eggs



Eggs are great sources of high quality proteins - they contain all the essential amino acids and are very filling. A study conducted by the Saint Louis University in the United States showed that eating eggs for breakfast increased fullness and led to lesser calorie intake in the next 26 hours.



2. Oats



Oats are packed with fiber and fairly low in calories. Oats have the ability to soak up water because of a type of soluble fiber it contains called beta-glucan, which makes them very filling. This is probably why it is often recommended to have oats for breakfast to keep you fueled and energized until lunch. Some studies also indicate that it may release satiety hormones and delay emptying the stomach.

(Also read: Why You Must Eat Oats for Breakfast)

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Soaked raisins in oats; Photo Credit: IStock

3. Legumes



Legumes such as beans, peas and lentils are loaded with fiber and plant-based protein. They also have low energy density, which means you can have satisfying portions of these foods and still keep your calorie intake for the day low. The National Institute of Nutrition recommends that you must have a cup of pulses for lunch and dinner as part of a balanced diet



4. Cottage Cheese



Cottage cheese is low in fats and carbohydrates. Its high protein content keeps you full. Cottage cheese can easily be a part of your weight loss diet. Increasing your protein intake helps to preserve muscle while you lose the fat. Muscle tends to burn more calories than fat and this helps in regulating your metabolism.

(Also read: How to Make Paneer at Home)

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Cottage cheese is low in fats and carbohydrates

5. Quinoa



This nutritious South American grain is now readily grown and available in India and is packed with protein. Protein is digested slowly and it releases energy over a period of time avoiding the need to reach out for that guilty snack. This versatile grain can be incorporated in any meal - with your cereal for breakfast, as an accompaniment to curry or dal or a simple salad for supper.



6. Boiled Potatoes



Not all carbohydrates are bad. Potatoes provide good carbohydrates in the form of resistant starch, which keeps you full. They are great energizers. Potatoes also contain enzyme inhibitors, which may curb your appetite.

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Potatoes provide good carbohydrates in the form of resistant starch

7. Fish



Fish have a higher score on the Satiety Index than other protein-rich foods like chicken and eggs. They are rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids that one needs to derive from food. These are the healthy fats that your body needs.

fish

Fish have a higher score on the Satiety Index than other protein-rich foods; Image credit: Istock

Take Home Message



The three key factors that determine the satiety of a food item are protein, fiber and energy density. Including these wholesome foods in your day-to-day diet can certainly help in keeping you in shape in the long run and prevent unnecessary cravings for fatty, sugary or salty foods.



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