Fruits and vegetables, which are often low in calories, will not leave you feeling as complete as a meal higher in protein and fat. Protein, fiber, and fats appear to be the most satiating macronutrients, but carbohydrates typically cause us to experience feelings of hunger within a short period of time after eating them. Your goal should be to consume meals that are low in calories yet high in nutrients. In this article, we’ll look at 20 foods that are both easy to find and nutritious, helping you nourish and fulfill your body at meals and in between.
This fruit is second only to oranges on the Satiety Index of Common Foods due to its high fiber content. One of my go-to munchies is almond butter on thin slices of Fuji apple. Combining the water and fiber in apple slices with the protein and healthy fat in almond butter makes for an unbeatable energy snack.
Vegetables like onions, which are low in calories yet offer many health advantages, are an excellent example. The risk of developing diseases like heart disease and kidney failure may be reduced, for instance, by eating a diet rich in vegetables from the alliums family.
3. Whole Grains
Whole grains play a significant role in many diet programs that promote health. They help us feel full for longer without adding many unnecessary calories because of the protein and fiber they contain. The trick to getting enough fiber and nutrients while limiting calorie intake is to choose whole grains over refined ones.
4. Wild Rice
A half-cup meal of wild rice that has been cooked contains fewer than 100 calories and is an excellent source of fiber. In recipes that call for white rice, you may use this as an alternative that is more filling and nutrient-dense.
Beans are an excellent way to keep from becoming hungry since they are high in fiber and protein and low in calories and fat. Beans’ high fiber content makes digestion more gradual and aids glucose control. They also include beneficial nutrients like potassium, magnesium, iron, and foliate.
Another example of a cruciferous vegetable, cabbage, can be found in several hues, including green, red, and white. It is a crucial component in fermented cuisines such as sauerkraut and kimchi and a standard element for salads and slaws.
Soup may seem like a frivolous main course option because of its perceived lack of substance, but it may be instead filling. Depending on the brand and variety, the nutritional value of a half-cup portion of canned condenses chicken noodle soup ranges from roughly 60 to 3 grams of protein. Evidence shows that soups, especially those made with the same ingredients are fuller than solid foods.
The berry family (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries) is an excellent choice for people trying to cut calories without sacrificing fullness. Blueberries, blackberries, and other berries have fewer calories, fewer grams of fat, and fewer grams of sugar than most other fruits. They are high in beneficial vitamins and minerals and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Carrots have a mild sweetness and crunchiness and are packed with nutrients. Carrots can be found in many hues, from white to purple, although orange types are the most common. Carotenoids, an excellent source of carrots, are essential for various bodily functions, including good vision, a robust immune system, and more. Many different carotenoid pigments, not simply beta carotene, can be converted into useable forms of vitamin A.
Eggs are incredibly nutrient dense due to their low-calorie count and high nutritional content. Multiple studies have found that eating a breakfast high in protein can reduce midmorning snacking, slow stomach emptying, and lower ghrelin levels.
Many people look down on potatoes, yet a five-ounce serving of baked potatoes is low in calories (about 100), high in fiber and potassium, and even contains a little bit of protein and vitamin C. As the number one starch on the satiety index, boiling potatoes are the best low-calorie food for maintaining fullness.
White cauliflower heads are usually surrounded by green foliage. The crowns of the rarer variants are a variety of colours, including purple, orange, and yellow. Cauliflower has become a low-carb alternative to traditional vegetables and grains. Cauliflower “rice” and cauliflower pizza crusts, for instance, are commonplace among individuals adhering to low-carb diets.
Because it contains a high percentage of water, and celery has extremely few calories compared to other vegetables. If you’re looking for a satisfying mixture of protein, fat, and fiber in your snack, give peanut butter made from natural peanuts, celery sticks, and raisins a shot. This time-honored combo makes for a great classic.
Grapes are a great source of vitamin C and K and have potent antioxidants; plus, they are portable, delicious, and easy to eat in small quantities. Grapes, like berries, contain anthocyanins, dark pigments in the fruit skin that have been linked to cancer prevention. Grapes had a satiety index rating slightly lower than oranges and apples.
Salads often use cucumbers since the crisp, fantastic veggie is excellent for digestion. Along with fruits and herbs, they are used to flavor water and can serve as a low-calorie foundation for high-protein dishes like chicken or tuna salad.
16. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have been called a “true super food” because of their high protein and fiber content despite their low-calorie count. In particular, chia seeds are loaded with soluble fiber, which expands when water exposes and helps you feel full for longer. Chia seeds have been shown to absorb 15 times their weight in water, allowing them to travel slowly through the digestive system and leave you satisfied for longer. The addition of only two servings of chia seeds to your regular diet will help you feel full on fewer calories.
17. White Mushrooms
Mushrooms are not fruits or meats but rather the fruiting bodies of a particular fungus. However, they are often an alternative to beef among vegetarians and vegans. Numerous essential elements may be found in mushrooms, including B vitamins and selenium, yet they only add up to about 44 calories per cooked cup.
Even though popcorn may not be the option with the highest nutrient density on this list, it is still a good choice for a complete snack that is low in calories. Be careful not to consume too much additional oil, fat, sugar, or salt when eating popcorn, whether you make it yourself or buy it in bags.
19. Iceberg Lettuce
Water content is what makes iceberg lettuce so popular. It is frequently sprinkled over grilled meat or piled into sandwiches. Even while iceberg lettuce is not as healthy as other forms of lettuce, it is a good source of several vitamins and minerals.
20. Lean Meat
Meat low in fat effectively curbs hunger and appetite in the hours between meals. Chicken, turkey, and cuts of red meat with low-fat content are examples of lean meats that are high in protein but low in calories.