By Ruben Meerman and Andrew Brown, The Conversation
Updated 4:30 AM ET, Mon March 26, 2018
Photos:The 10 most filling foods for weight loss
If you were to describe The Perfect Food, it might go something like this: healthful, delicious, bigger than a morsel and filling enough to fight hunger for hours. "Foods that promote satiety" -- a feeling of lasting fullness -- "do exist," insists Dr. David Katz, founder of the Yale University Prevention Research Center.
What makes some grub extra satisfying? "Fiber and protein can help," says Barbara Rolls, author of "The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet." Getting more bang for your bite matters, too: Low-energy-density foods, which yield big portions for few calories, "allow you to eat more without gaining weight," Rolls says. Want some of that? Make room for these secret-weapon picks.
The potato has been unfairly demonized -- it's actually a potent hunger tamer. In a study that measured the satiating index of 38 foods, including brown rice and whole-wheat bread, people ranked boiled potatoes highest, reporting that they felt fuller and ate less two hours after consuming them.
Though potatoes are often shunned because they're considered high in carbohydrates, they shouldn't be. Whether baked or boiled, they're loaded with vitamins, fiber and other nutrients. Result? You get steady energy and lasting fullness after noshing on them.
Feel even fuller: Eat baked and boiled tubers skin-on to get more fiber for just 160 calories a pop.
"Soups have a high water content, which means they fill your stomach for very few calories," says Rolls. Broth-based bean soups, in particular, contain a hefty dose of fiber and resistant starch -- a good carb that slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream -- to make that full feeling really stick. "Once in the stomach, fiber and water activate stretch receptors that signal that you aren't hungry anymore," Rolls says. All this for a measly 150 calories per cup.
Feel even fuller: Resist the cracker pack on the side in favor of a bigger soup helping. Beans are starchy, satisfying and caloric enough on their own, Rolls says. Hate soup? Throw lentils, black-eyed peas or kidney or navy beans into a vinegar-based salad.