How do you know what healthy snacks will keep you full until your next meal? There are a few criteria for how filling a snack will be.
The Key: Low GI
If you want a satisfying snack, you want to choose a food that is low GI, or low glycemic index. When you consume high GI foods, blood sugar spikes. The body produces large amounts of insulin in response. The energy is stored in cells, resulting in you feeling hungrier sooner.
Low GI foods have either little carbohydrates or have protein, fibre and/or fat to balance out carbohydrate content. They are absorbed more slowly, giving you a steadier stream of energy.
Is Your Snack Low GI?
Want a low GI snack option? Have a look at these key nutrients:
High in protein
Protein is considered to be the most filling of the macronutrients. It reduces the production of the ‘hunger hormones’ that satisfy the appetite. It also lowers the GI of a snack or meal.
High in fibre
Fibre is another important nutrient for satiety. It delays the emptying of the stomach, so you digest your food more slowly and thoroughly. Fibre greatly reduces GI.
High in water
Some foods have a very high water content. High-water foods have been shown to aid in reducing overall energy consumption. More water also means lower GI, as it replaces other nutrients such as carbohydrates.
5 Snacks To Try
Ready to try some low GI satiating snacks? Here are a few to add to your list.
Almonds have good fats and fibre so you feel satiated for longer. They also offer fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin E.
Berries fill your tummy for longer thanks to their high fibre content. They also have plenty of antioxidants and vitamin C.
Beans are packed with protein and fibre to keep you full. They also offer minerals such as iron and magnesium.
Full fat yoghurt
Full-fat yoghurts such as Greek yoghurt keep you fuller for longer thanks to their protein content. They’re also an excellent source of calcium and probiotics.
Eggs can help you feel fuller for up to 36 hours after consumption. They also offer antioxidants and fat-soluble vitamins.