Name a buzzy diet, and you’ve tried it: paleo, Whole30, intermittent fasting (not to mention the Noom diet, the Daniel Fast diet and eating a cube of cheese before you pass out). So what is it about all of these eating plans that leaves you kinda hungry and totally dissatisfied? It might be that you’re cutting out good-for-you ingredients that are also filling.
According to Shirin Panahi, PhD, there’s a better approach, and it's called the "satiating diet." Science shows that it effectively helps people manage weight and health, without going to extremes like restricting or cutting out entire food groups (like carbs, for one). But what is it, exactly?
According to Panahi’s report in Scientific American, the satiating diet is “a diet constructed from healthy foods that are especially satiating; that is, foods that create feelings of fullness and satisfaction.” Think foods that are high in protein (like fish); high in fiber (like whole grains); and lots of fruit and vegetables. But unlike a lot of fad diets, the satiating diet embraces healthy fats (avocados, for example) and even dairy products containing gut-boosting probiotics (including yogurt and unprocessed cheese). Also on the list: capsaicin, the substance that makes peppers spicy.
The best part about this eating plan? Nothing is off-limits. According to Panahi, it’s not about a strict set of dietary guidelines (that are ultimately too restrictive to sustain), but instead about focusing on nutrient-rich foods that leave you feeling full (hence all that protein and fiber).
“What’s so special about these foods [is] that each of them possesses specific characteristics that benefit our health either by decreasing hunger, reducing body fat, lowering blood sugar, improving blood pressure or increasing metabolism.” explains Panahi. And when you combine them into one nutrition plan, she says that it just might be the golden ticket to maintaining a healthy weight. She cites a 2017 study in which participants followed either a satiating diet (eating 20 to 25 percent protein) or normal diet (eating 10 to 15 percent protein). Those on the satiating plan lost more weight and body fat, felt fuller and were more likely to stick to the diet in the first place.
Of course, one promising study is just the tip of the iceberg. But we’re about ready to dive into a plate of cheese with this news. Keto who?