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We’ve all been there: elbow-deep in a box of crackers thinking, “I could eat this entire box, and still be hungry.”
And while sometimes those nights happen, we don’t want to create a habit of eating unsatisfying calories. Instead, we want to eat a combination of foods that keep us full until our next meal comes around.
According to Harvard Health, fiber makes you feel full immediately, and protein helps you feel full after you’re done eating. So, when planning meals or reaching for snacks, choose foods that are full of fiber, protein, or both.
Below are our top picks for filling foods; ingredients that help to keep you fuller, longer.
Eggs contain zero fiber, so they also pair well with leafy vegetables or multigrain bread.
Drinking a2 Milk® with your meal or in a smoothie can help you feel fuller, longer, due to the protein and good fat. In fact, researchers found that drinking milk with breakfast increased satiety throughout the day and decreased calories consumed at lunch.
Whole milk contains 8 grams of protein and 9 grams of fat and comes out to 160 calories per cup. Instead of reaching for cookies or candy at night, have a glass of a2 Milk® Chocolate Milk or golden milk.
Black beans contain high amounts of both protein and fiber, making them a great food to keep you full. The protein and fiber contents per cup are 19 grams and 14 grams, respectively.
Black beans go beyond Mexican and Latin American cuisine. You can add beans to salad, wraps, breakfast scrambles, and even dessert.
Kidney beans also boast large amounts of protein and fiber: 26 grams and 22 grams per cup, to be exact.
Add kidney beans to soups, stews, and chili or make your own red beans and rice.
You can consume a fair amount of quinoa and stay at or beneath your calorie limit. Quinoa has 8 grams of protein and 5.2 grams of fiber per one cup, which only contains 222 calories. Substitute quinoa for rice or pasta, and include it in salads to feel fuller during the day.
Broccoli and other fibrous vegetables help you feel full by providing “roughage” in your stomach. This roughage takes up space in your stomach and is harder to break down, which slows digestion and the next round of hunger.
As a bonus, broccoli and other green vegetables contain vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin B-6. Eat an entire cup of raw or steamed broccoli for only 30 calories.
For a broccoli-centric side, try our broccoli salad with pomegranate seed recipe.
Fish contains healthy fat and proteins which can keep you feeling full, but not all fish are created equal. The most filling fish are those high in which include salmon, trout, sardines, and herring.
Fruit isn’t typically filling, but if you love fruit like us, there are two smart choices…
Raspberries and blackberries contain more fiber than other fruits, at about 8 grams per cup. Other good choices are apples and bananas.
All nuts can be part of a healthy diet, but if you’re looking for satiety, almonds and walnuts outrank others. Almonds win as a mid-morning snack. In fact, there was a study on the effect of eating almonds in the morning which resulted in feeling full into the lunch hour.
Not only are the above foods filling, but they are also healthy and enable you to create a balanced diet. You may even forget about the boring crackers in your pantry and instead focus on putting more good stuff in your body!