The best high-satiety foods – Diet Doctor

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

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.

Satiety scores
Type satiety score
Whole milk mozzarella 59
Swiss 58
brie/camembert 54
Bleu, Roquefort 52
cheddar 51
feta 49

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.

Satiety scores

Nuts

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.

Satiety scores

16
macadamia nuts

Starchy vegetables

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.

Satiety scores
sweet potato

44
sweet potatoes

potatoes

41
white potatoes

For a complete list of all the starchy vegetables, see our visual guide to high-satiety vegetables.

fruit

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.

Satiety scores

Whole grains

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.

Satiety scores
Type satiety score
oatmeal 56
Buckwheat groats 51
wild rice 49
Whole-wheat bread 44
Quinoa 44
Corn 43

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
Type satiety score
cream 21
mayonnaise 14
butter 12
olive oil 11th
coconut oil 11th

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.

sweeteners

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.

Satiety scores
Type satiety score
Cheesecake 19
ice cream 12
Chocolate cupcakes 11th
french fries 11th
pie 10
Croissant 9
Frosted layer cake 7
Tortilla chips 6
candy bar 4
Glazed donuts 2
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.

Satiety scores
Type satiety score
soft pretzel 28
low fat graham cracker 25
jelly 23
saltine cracker 22
Sweetened breakfast cereal 21
Honey 21
Low fat breakfast pastry 21
Sugar 20

“Liquid sugars”

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.

Satiety scores
Type satiety score
fruit smoothie 32
100% Orange juice 28
mocha 28
Frappuccino 26
Soda 25
Gatorade 25
lemonade 25

High-carb alcohol

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.