When it comes to healthy snacking, most people concentrate on foods that are low in fat and sugar. However, effective satiation is also important – otherwise you’ll end up snacking way more than you should.
Researchers from the University of Sydney set out to determine which foods are best at filling you up and keeping you full. The result is the Satiety Index Of Common Foods. It’s essential reading for anyone on a diet.
Foods with low satiety levels aren’t necessarily bad for you – but they can lead to overeating. An obvious example is boiled white rice: it’s not unhealthy, but it’s also ineffective at filling you up which results in loads of extra carbs. By contrast, oatmeal has a high satiation level, meaning your gut feels satisfied quicker and for longer.
The infographic below attempts to break down the chief findings of the full satiety food index, which you can download here (PDF). The index measures how full you feel after eating 240 calories of food across six categories. The accompanying glycemic index measures how quickly you get a sugar high from the food and then crash. (A low glycemic index is preferable, meaning the food sustains you longer.)
As the graphic points out, the best choice for satiation isn’t always obvious: a biscuit is obviously less healthy than a banana, but they will both give you a similar sugar crash and leave you feeling hungry. The foods at the top right corner are those with the greater satiety and lower glycemic index: more filling and less crashing.
Here’s the full graphic (click to expand or right-click to save):
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