It seems like it’s hard to escape the sneaky added sugar that pops up in packaged and prepared foods. Forget about snack cakes and candy bars, these days sugar is added to everything from salad dressing to some bottled waters. A little sweetness isn’t going to ruin you, but the fact is that packaged foods are likely to contain much more sugar than you might ever add on your own.
We talk about this a lot during our weight loss spa programs because we know that despite many of our guests’ best efforts, if you don’t know what to look for, your sugar consumption can accidentally skyrocket. So, what’s a health-conscious omnivore to do?
Here are 5 of our favorite satisfying foods that will fill you up, without filling you up with sugar.
Why are foods filling?
Before jumping into our favorites, let’s first take a look at what makes certain foods filling. The feeling of being full is called “satiety.” A satiety index ranks foods based on their ability to satisfy hunger. Scores above 100 are more filling, while foods with scores lower than 100 leave you feeling less satisfied. Overall, foods that score high on the satiety index are high in protein and fiber. High-satiety foods are often also high-volume foods, meaning that they contain lots of water or air. Knowing these factors can help you make smarter choices when reaching for the snack that will tide you over, instead of the quick fix that will leave you feeling hungry again in an hour.
Our favorite low-sugar filling foods
Just because we run a weight loss spa doesn’t mean that we don’t understand how important food is to your psychological wellbeing. Eating healthy doesn’t mean starving yourself or feeling perpetually deprived. It’s okay to enjoy what you eat. In fact, it’s important! Therefore, keep in mind that that foods we list below aren’t necessarily “no-sugar” foods. However, each one is low in sugar and highly satisfying.
Oats are a super healthy, gluten-free whole grain. Chock full of vitamins, minerals and fiber, oatmeal scores high on the satiety index, as a near-perfect example of a low-sugar food that will fill you up. Sprinkle on a light dusting of cinnamon to add flavor. However, be sure to steer clear of instant oatmeal, since instant packets can contain lots of added sugar.
Fill up before heading out the door in the morning with two eggs for breakfast. Hard-boiled eggs are also a dense, easy to transport snack that gives you a kick of protein. Try to eat organic, free range when possible and avoid overconsuming eggs so as not to elevate your cholesterol.
Apples & peanut butter
There’s a reason kids like apples and peanut butter—not only is it a tasty combo of sweet and salty, but the protein in peanut butter gives you a boost, while the density of the apple is sure to ease your hunger. Do yourself a favor and choose this healthy snack instead of a sugar-packed protein bar.
“Legumes” covers a broad range of foods including green beans, chickpeas, soybeans and lentils. Whichever is your favorite, legumes are dense, satisfying foods that contain lots of fiber and protein. Add some substance to your salad by loading up on the legumes and turning a light side dish into a hearty meal.
Hummus & vegetables
Made from chickpeas, hummus is a hunger-busting spread that turns standard veggies into fiber- and protein-rich fuel. Gain all of the benefits of those garbanzo beans while adding a satisfying and thirst-quenching crunch by dipping carrots, celery, red peppers or cucumbers into your hummus.
Knowing what to reach for when you’re feeling hungry is a huge part of making healthier nutrition choices. Next time you feel famished, pay attention to what you’re eating. Filling up on whatever seems easiest can sabotage your weight loss progress. Choose a low-sugar, high satiety snack instead.
Ready to live your best life? Contact us today to talk to our health and wellness experts.