If you’ve ever tried a new eating plan and found yourself hungry most of the time, a lack of healthy fat is likely to blame. One reason so many people find both the Mediterranean diet and the ketogenic diet so easy to stick with is because it includes lots of it—think fish, avocado, nuts, and eggs—to help you stay full between meals. These healthy fat bombs are also the hero foods of an eating plan health experts at Canada’s Université Laval dubbed the “highly satiating diet.” According to their research, published in the British Journal or Nutrition, it champions foods high in protein and fiber as well as healthy fats, dairy, and—surprisingly—capsaicin, a compound found in chili peppers and jalapeños.
“What’s so special about these foods it’s that each of them possesses specific characteristics that benefit our health either by decreasing hunger, reducing body fat, lowering blood sugar, improving blood pressure or increasing metabolism,” Shirin Panahi, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in the departments of physical education and kinesiology at Université Laval, writes in Scientific American. The researchers included dairy because it’s full of probiotics, which are good for your gut. If you’re reaching for rich cheeses (not the processed stuff), you’ll find that you only need to eat a little to feel satiated.
“If the highly satiating diet proves to have the benefits we saw in our study and if it proves to be sustainable, it could be a realistic and potentially powerful dietary solution to the problem of weight control,” writes Dr. Panahi. You know when you eat takeout until you’re uncomfortably full, but then you find yourself opening the fridge two hours later? That’s not going to happen with this diet.
As with virtually all healthy eating plans recommended by doctors, the satiating diet eschews processed foods and foods high in sugar, which are linked to weight gain and inflammation. And if you think about it, neither really does much to satisfy your appetite.
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