Filed under: Food/Diet, Healthy Living | Tags: Food/Diet, Health Tips. Glycemic Index, Satiety Index
What About Satiety?
A different way to limit carbohydrate consumption is simply to limit the total number of Calories that you consume for each meal. This can be a very effective method for controlling blood sugar and losing body fat. Unfortunately, there’s one BIG problem associated with this method – increased hunger! But what if you could eat less, and not be hungry? Is that possible?
A few years ago, a group of researchers from the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia performed an interesting study in which they compared the satiating effects of different foods. These researchers, lead by Suzanna Holt, include some of the same individuals that pioneered much of the work on the Glycemic Index. The result of their study, “The Satiety Index of Common Foods”, was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 1995. In this study, the researchers fed human test subjects fixed-Calorie portions of thirty-eight different foods, and then recorded the subjects’ perceived hunger following each feeding.
The results of this study clearly indicated that certain foods are much better than others for satisfying hunger. The researchers used white bread as their reference point, and arbitrarily assigned it a “Satiety Index” of 100. Foods that did a better job of satisfying hunger were given proportionately higher values, and foods that were less satisfying were assigned lower values. Among the most satisfying foods they tested were plain boiled potatoes, raw fruits, fish, and lean meats. Subjects that consumed the prescribed portion of these foods were less likely to feel hungry immediately afterward. Foods that did the poorest job of satisfying hunger included croissants, donuts, candy bars, and peanuts.
An important outcome of this study
Because of the limited size of the Satiety Index study, there’s some uncertainty in the accuracy of the values that were recorded for each food. However, one very important general observation was made by the Satiety Index researchers. They noted that a common feature was shared by the foods with the highest Satiety Index values. All of these foods had high weight-to-Calorie ratios. In other words, these foods contained a greater amount of bulk for each Calorie. They helped make you feel full, literally by filling your stomach.
This suspected relation between bulk and satiety may seem obvious and trivial, but it opens the door to a very powerful theory – that it may be possible to predict satiety by knowing the nutrient composition of the food! And if that is true, some form of the Satiety Index could prove to be a more flexible tool for assessing diet than the Glycemic Index.
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Enjoy a healthy day, change your eating habits, change your life!