Low- to moderate-satiety foods & beverages
The foods in this section provide low to moderate satiety per calorie. Feel free to include them in your diet based on your preferences and the type of diet you follow.
Cheese is delicious and filling, but it provides less satiety per calorie than lower fat dairy products. Fortunately, nearly all types of cheese have moderate satiety scores. So feel free to enjoy small amounts of your favorites.
|Whole milk mozzarella||59|
For a complete list of cheeses and other dairy products, see the visual guide to high-satiety dairy foods.
Low protein processed meats
Bacon, sausage, salami, and similar meats are tasty and convenient. However, their satiety scores are moderate rather than high because they have lower protein percentages and higher energy densities than other meats.
Although you can enjoy them occasionally and still lose weight, go for higher-satiety processed meats like Canadian bacon and raw most of the time.
Although nuts have some protein and fiber, their satiety scores are low because they pack a lot of calories. Plus, once you start eating them, it may be tough to stop. If you eat nuts, portion out a small amount rather than eating them straight from a large bag or container.
Starchy vegetables have lower satiety scores than most of their non-starchy counterparts. This is because the higher number of calories from starch reduces their protein percentages. If your diet allows more carbs, feel free to include modest amounts of these vegetables in your diet.
For a complete list of all the starchy vegetables, see our visual guide to high-satiety vegetables.
Fresh fruits have low to moderate satiety scores because they’re short on protein but contain a lot of water and fiber. While fatty fruits like avocado and olives provide less satiety per calorie, they have fewer carbs than sweeter fruits. So, if it fits into your diet plan, enjoy a daily serving or two of fruit.
Yes, whole grains have more fiber than refined grains. But they’re still low in protein, and most of their calories come from carbs. Therefore, their satiety scores aren’t very impressive. Even if you don’t follow a low carb diet, keep your whole grain intake modest if you’re trying to lose weight.
Fats and oils
Butter, oil, and cream are high in calories and provide virtually no protein. As you can see below, their satiety scores are quite low. However, adding small amounts of fat to your vegetables or other foods can make them taste delicious — without jeopardizing your weight loss. For this reason, we list them as foods to include in small quantities rather than avoid. Remember, don’t go overboard. Use just enough fat to add flavor.
Satiety scores for fats alone
Low carb alcohol
Research suggests that drinking alcoholic beverages may interfere with weight loss. Alcohol can also increase your appetite and decrease your inhibitions, which may lead you to eat more than you need (or eat foods you normally avoid) without intending to.
Because alcohol provides calories but no protein or other nutrients, satiety scores for all types of alcoholic beverages are extremely low. If you decide to drink occasionally, choose lower carb options like dry wine or plain spirits.
Some people may find that using calorie-free sweeteners helps them avoid high-sugar foods and beverages. However, others may experience hunger or cravings when they use sweeteners.
Although we don’t have satiety scores for sweeteners, we recommend choosing calorie-free or nearly-calorie-free options if you want to use them. See our guide to low carb sweeteners for a complete discussion and our list of recommendations.
Very-low-satiety foods and beverages
If your goal is to lose weight without feeling hungry, minimize or avoid the items in this section.
High carb, high fat foods
Foods that are high in both fat and carbs provide very little satiety per calorie. Plus, the delicious taste of ultra-processed foods — such as the sweet or savory snack foods created by food manufacturers — can make it tough to stop at “just one.” Indeed, some researchers suggest that these highly palatable foods can even be addictive and keep you wanting more.
|Frosted layer cake||7|
|Chocolate chip cookies||one|
Foods high in sugar and refined carbs
Refined carbs provide calories but lack protein, other nutrients, and fiber. Many of these products are marketed as “low fat” or “fat free,” making it appear as though they’re good for weight loss. However, as their satiety scores indicate, they’re unlikely to help you feel full and satisfied.
|low fat graham cracker||25|
|Sweetened breakfast cereal||21|
|Low fat breakfast pastry||21|
All sugar-sweetened beverages are loaded with little more than sugar and calories. What about 100% unsweetened juice? It’s packed with “natural” sugar. Also, research suggests that consuming carbs in liquid form is less satiating than consuming carbs in solid food.
|100% Orange juice||28|
While all types of liquor provide empty calories, sweet wines and liqueurs are also high in sugar, and beer is high in carbs. For this reason, beer and sweet alcoholic drinks receive even lower satiety scores than low carb alcoholic drinks. In short, they’re not a good option.