A nutritionist has come forward to name some of the foods that make you hungrier after you eat them, rather than filling a gap.
While crisps and chocolate might be obvious culprits, some choices are also a lot more startling – including healthy foods such as acai bowls.
Healthy Options, Hungry Stomachs
Most health food haters will tell you that a salad leaves you less full because it’s simply not as substantial as a steak. But there could be even more reason to avoid health foods, according to nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert.
Acai bowls have been heralded in the food industry as the latest super-food, providing the ultimate hipster chic for many a café. But the problem with this food, as well as fruit juices, is that it is a liquid-based item, lacking in protein and fibre. What this means is that you are likely to feel hungry again within the hour.
These choices cause an insulin spike, which makes the body feel hungry. It’s also true that chewing food makes you feel more satisfied, because the brain understands this as a signal of eating. Therefore, having a food or a juice which does not involve chewing could leave you feeling hungry again sooner.
How to solve it? You can try adding protein powder to your acai bowl or juice, and go for options that include chunks, such as fresh fruit juices. These will trigger your brain’s sensors and help it to understand how much you have eaten.
Low-sugar or low-carb snacking bars are also bad for your hunger levels, as they include plenty of sucralose – which will cause hunger when you crash after the blood sugar level spikes. This can be avoided by choosing bars with natural sweeteners such as brown rice syrup.
Unhealthy Foods that Don’t Help
We already know that eating crisps is bad for our health, but it may be even worse than you thought. Crisps have no nutritional value and also have a high salt content, which means that you will immediately trigger hunger signals. If you have ever eaten your way through a large bag at once, you now know why.
Try to avoid salty foods as much as possible, as they trigger hunger and are also addictive, meaning that your body will crave more salt and the cycle will worsen.
You may also think that salads are a healthy option, but unfortunately that’s often not the case when you buy them pre-packaged from the supermarket. Why? Because they contain unhealthy dressings that are high in calories and will also often include a high salt level. They also tend to be unbalanced – once again, if there is no protein or fibre in the food, your brain will still be sending hunger signals. Eating a bowl of leaves with a fatty dressing is not the right way to lose weight! Those with chef jobs, take note: a balanced salad will leave your customers more satisfied.
Flapjacks and Granola Bars
Want to eat a snack on the go? Flapjacks and granola bars are a great option, right? Apparently not! They tend to be packed full of sugar, which will give you that crash and hunger soon after eating them.
Not only is the ingredients list likely to contain honey, maple syrup, or sucrose, it will also often include dried fruit. This is a fast-release fructose sugar, which is exactly what gives you that burst of energy when you eat them – but it’s a false economy and will leave you with hunger pangs soon afterwards.
Understanding nutrition is hugely important for picking healthy foods that won’t leave you hungry.