You’re hungry, so you pick up a bag of chips and start munching.
Ten minutes later, the chips are gone, but your hunger pangs aren’t. What’s up with that?
According to nutrition experts, some foods make you more hungry, and chips happen to be one of them. We asked Amy Strutzel, a diabetes dietitian educator at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill., to give us a list of the top seven offenders that leave people feeling hungrier. Most won’t be shocked that chips make her list, but some others may surprise you, like fruit juice and yogurt. The full list includes:
This drink is a concentrated source of sugar. Even though it may contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, much of the fiber is stripped in the processing. There is no fat or protein to help slow the absorption of the sugar into the blood. Because of this, juice can cause a quick rise in blood sugar and a fast drop. This decline in blood sugar leaves us feeling hungry again–fast.
Depending on the type and brand, yogurt can be high in sugar. In addition, because of its consistency, yogurt does not require chewing. “The act of chewing helps to increase our fullness factor. Adding something such as nuts can increase chewing,” Strutzel says. “And including nuts can also add some healthy, unsaturated fats, which may help us feel fuller longer.”
For yogurt lovers, Greek yogurt is a good choice, as it has two to three times the amount of protein as regular yogurt, which can also help us feel satisfied longer. Buying plain versions of Greek yogurt and adding your own fresh fruit can help eliminate the amount of added sugars. Fresh fruit also provides some fiber.
Alcohol can make a person hungrier. “It can lower a person’s levels of leptin, which is responsible for helping keep us full,” Strutzel says. “Alcohol also can lower our glycogen stores, so we often crave carbs to replace what is lost. Alcohol lowers our inhibitions, as well, which can cause people to choose fattier, less healthy foods.”
White pasta comes from enriched flour, which is void of many vitamins, minerals and fiber. This lack of fiber can lead to a feeling of decreased satisfaction or fullness. White pasta is a concentrated source of carbohydrates, which can raise blood sugar, followed by a drop not long after. One serving of pasta is equivalent to one-half cup cooked. Most of us eat well beyond that, especially if we order pasta at a restaurant. In fact, most restaurants can serve up to four cups of pasta, which is very heavy in carbohydrates. Add any red sauces on top of that, and you have even more sugar.
Because of the amount of sodium found in chips and pretzels, these snacks can lead to dehydration. Often, people may think they’re hungry when, in fact, they’re really thirsty. In addition, these type of snacks contain mostly empty calories. “Not only are they low in vitamins and minerals, but they usually contain very little protein and fiber, which help to keep us satisfied when we eat,” Strutzel says.
Monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG, is a flavor enhancer found in things like Chinese food, processed meats, soups, etc. Some research has shown that MSG can cause an increase in appetite. When ordering Chinese food, request a meal made without MSG. Also, be mindful when shopping and look at ingredients to help cut down on this additive.
Even healthier-sounding desserts tend to be loaded with sugar. Dessert foods break down quickly in our body as glucose, which causes the body to release more insulin. When there is a lot of insulin, too much can enter the cells, which can lead to low blood sugar. This low blood sugar can leave us feeling hungry not long after eating dessert.
To learn more about your healthy weight range and how it affects your quality of life, take an assessment by clicking here.