We call the need to eat hunger, and its concept is associated with certain sensations. Hence, on many occasions, we have heard about real hunger and emotional hunger. We should not confuse hunger with appetite, which refers to the specific desire for certain foods and not for food in general. Appetite is what helps us choose certain foods according to what circumstances.
Now, what is satiety? Can it be that even if we are not hungry, we believe that we are not satiated and we need to eat more?
What is satiety?
Satiety is a difficult term to define on its own. It is easier to understand if we put it in relation to another absolutely inseparable concept which is hunger and which we all know. It’s as if they were both in the same imaginary line but situated one at each end.
Why and when do we feel full?
Once we are clear about the concept, we can begin to explain what is really happening in the body. Hunger and satiety are two sensations that are regulated by two opposite hormones: leptin and ghrelin.
- Leptin is the anorexigenic hormone, that is to say, it is responsible for our feeling of satiety.
- Ghrelin, on the other hand, is an orexigenic hormone, responsible for making us feel hungry.
Therefore, the regulation of food consumption is determined by these hormones that fulfill metabolic and hedonic functions.
Can we never feel satiated?
The problem comes when we have altered this regulation mechanism and leptinorresistance is produced. This causes that we do not feel that sensation of satiety. It is an alteration that is produced in many obese individuals, but there is no need to worry! In most people, this mechanism works perfectly. What we can do is condition the appearance of leptin more quickly.
What can we do to feel fuller for longer?
We can opt for those foods that are more satiating. We call satiating foods those whose nutritional composition makes us feel satiated more quickly.
In this sense, foods rich in fibre play a fundamental role. The soluble dietary fibre has a great capacity to retain water, thus increasing the volume of the intestinal content and slowing down the speed of intestinal transit. They tend to form viscous solutions in water so that gastric emptying and digestion is slowed down, and this satiating effect is achieved.
What foods are satiating?
Satiating foods are therefore complete cereals, nuts, legumes, and fruits and vegetables.
- The complete cereals are those that have not been deprived of the fiber that covers them, what we know as integral cereals. On the contrary, the refined cereals are those to which that fiber has been removed and they have lost that satiating capacity.
- The legumes also have great amount of fermentable fiber, reason why the satiating capacity that they have is very high.
- The dry fruits are satiating foods in addition to the amount of fiber that they contain by their great content in fats.
- And finally, fruits and vegetables are foods with a great content in water and very few calories that for the great quantity of fiber that they have, they are going to provoke us a good sensation of satiety. However, the fiber is found in the external layer, in the skin. That is why, if we peel the fruits or vegetables before eating them, we are going to eliminate not only a great quantity of vitamins and minerals, but also the fiber and, therefore, the satiety that they could provide us.
Ready to feel fuller for longer and nourish your body in the healthiest way? The change starts today!