2

votes

Satiety index - fat vs starch

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 09, 2013 at 4:19 AM

I was under the impression that fatty foods satisfied more. This article indicates that fat is bad for satiety - "foods high in fat made people want to eat more", and states that the body stores fat from fatty foods for a rainy day. This seems opposite to my understanding, is anyone familiar with this study? What are your thoughts on fatty foods vs starches for hunger? Could it be that the students in the study weren't fat adapted and that affected the results?

http://www.bistromd.com/healthy-facts/weight-control/glycemic-index-and-satiety-index.aspx

32be195157f00ad15a933b8bb333dcc4

(379)

on January 10, 2013
at 05:31 AM

Is this why maybe eating carbs at night isn't so bad? You are full immediately after and then you are sleeping when the fullness wears off.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on January 09, 2013
at 06:21 PM

Michael I thought so too but I don't have symptoms of low blood sugar when this happens. Years ago I suffered for severe hypoglycemia, so I know what it feels like. With my potato example, I don't have any symptoms of hypoglycemia, and I'm not ravenous, because if I were I'd just eat leftover roast beef and I'd be all set. It's just I can't concentrate on my work (or reading) because my mind goes "POTATOES POTATOES POTATOES!!!" and won't shut up :( I guess it gives cravings.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on January 09, 2013
at 06:00 PM

Rea, you know what's great for a movie? Knitting and crocheting! That's what I do now :)

De9cfdb47ff142453b62bc145e44f9c4

on January 09, 2013
at 05:38 PM

An interesting side note - This how merriam-webster defines Satiety. Doe sthis match your definition of satiety? Does this change anyone's answer? 1: the quality or state of being fed or gratified to or beyond capacity : surfeit, fullness 2: the revulsion or disgust caused by overindulgence or excess

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on January 09, 2013
at 05:36 PM

For fat & carbs in nature, I can only think of avocados and olives that we use for food. People sometimes forget that avocados have a ton of fiber, and about 1/2 is soluble (i.e. not just "roughage"). However, neither of these is high in digestible carbohydrates, just fibrous carbs.

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on January 09, 2013
at 05:13 PM

I think the reason you see so many statements here about eating gobs of fat being absolutely essential for satiety is just a way to rationalize gorging behavior.

32be195157f00ad15a933b8bb333dcc4

(379)

on January 09, 2013
at 04:59 PM

This is an interesting thought, I think you might be on to something. I have had lots of occasions where I was 'full' but still gorged on whatever happened to be near :)

32be195157f00ad15a933b8bb333dcc4

(379)

on January 09, 2013
at 04:57 PM

Interesting information, I am still trying to find a balance that works for me. It seems that carbs are much more likely to bring out the binge-monster in me than fat/protein is. I think I need to get better at listening to my body; I used to have NO hunger signals at all and would just eat when everyone else seemed to be. Trying to regain those is taking a lot of time and effort, but is well worth it. Thanks for the thoughts!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on January 09, 2013
at 04:18 PM

Agree with nbs. Fat is the least satiating. INSULIN is also a satiety hormone and fat produces zero insulin response. In terms of satiety it goes protein, then starch, and then fat. That bs about fat being satiating is paleo dogma to sell stupid weight loss books.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on January 09, 2013
at 02:37 PM

INSULIN is a satiety hormone. fat produces ZERO insulin response. First is protein, then starch, then finally fat at the least satiating. Most rewarding? Yes. Most Satiating? Absolutely NOT.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on January 09, 2013
at 12:31 PM

I think the poster meant first as in newest, not best.. I agree with the point though

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on January 09, 2013
at 12:28 PM

@ Rea and to clean off the stains ;)

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on January 09, 2013
at 12:28 PM

isn't being ravenous after a carb meal linked to insulin resistance/blood sugar dopping too much too quickly during and after the meal...?

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on January 09, 2013
at 12:26 PM

Sure does tie in with food reward concept. Explains why cashews are (were, for me) so easy to over indulge in... Fat plus starch, possible salt too... Agree totally re fat and carbs combos - by raising palatbaility it seems to encourage higher rates of consumption. My experiences is the same as yours - a plain roasted sweet potoato is a halluva lot less palatable than if said sweet potato is paired with aioli...

3bc294cb7745a5e99612ff886ca00101

(1186)

on January 09, 2013
at 12:16 PM

You know what's great for a movie? A mug of your favourite tea, and someone to cuddle if you're lucky. :) Also, pomegranate, because it takes forever to eat all those little seeds!

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on January 09, 2013
at 12:14 PM

dude. The one with the most votes is like ALWAYS the best answer.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on January 09, 2013
at 08:33 AM

nice to know...which one is the first answer?

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on January 09, 2013
at 07:14 AM

I don't feel satiety from carbs and I'm sure some people agree that carbs do not fill them up. Nothing is as satisfying as protein IMO. Fat is a distant second.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on January 09, 2013
at 06:04 AM

Yup, even if I eat the same calories, my satiety lasts much longer eating beef shoulder than it does with eating fish.

E639bc85fd42430285596434a6515ad5

(2226)

on January 09, 2013
at 05:52 AM

Right — definitely not as simple as just fat versus starch. Fiber content and water content in foods, for example, are both known to increase satiety regardless of macronutrient composition. (Which probably helps explain why potatoes are more satiating than white bread.)

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on January 09, 2013
at 05:43 AM

I posted links to several studies showing how poor fat is at promoting satiety in this thread: http://paleohacks.com/questions/155875/addressing-fats-benefits-and-drawbacks/155886#155886

  • 32be195157f00ad15a933b8bb333dcc4

    asked by

    (379)
  • Views
    6.9K
  • Last Activity
    1405D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

10 Answers

7
E639bc85fd42430285596434a6515ad5

(2226)

on January 09, 2013
at 04:53 AM

In terms of satiety, fats are top three among all macronutrients, behind only protein and carbs. (I.e., they're ahead of alcohol.)

If you look at the foods that have been tested for satiety, plain carbs like potatoes or oranges are great, and foods that contain just fat and protein like steak or eggs are also quite good.

The foods that fare poorly tend to be foods that contain both carbs and fat together ??? like croissants, candy bars, ice cream, donuts, etc.

And if you think about it, foods that contain both carbs and fat together are exceedingly rare in nature. I can't really think of any except for dairy, which is specifically designed to cause weight gain (since it's designed for infants). So it's not surprising from a paleo perspective that a novel combination of macronutrients, specifically carbs and fat together, would trick our evolved sense of satiety and cause us to eat more than is optimal.

(This also ties into the food reward concept. The foods with the highest reward values tend to include fat, carbs, and salt all together. It's probably not a coincidence that these are the foods that tend to be industrially processed.)

In the Perfect Health Diet, the Jaminets encourage people to eat their potatoes with butter since the fat in the butter presumably helps with the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals found in the potatoes. That's probably great advice for people who aren't overweight. But my own n=1 experience tells me that adding butter to my potatoes is counterproductive if I'm trying to limit my caloric intake. I'm better off eating a plain potato at one sitting, and then eating a steak (with butter if I want) at another sitting ??? keeping my fat intake and my carb intake separate from each other. For any given number of calories consumed, my satiety is greater that way.

It's possible that I'm simply weird in that respect, but the satiety index indicates that it's not just me.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on January 09, 2013
at 07:14 AM

I don't feel satiety from carbs and I'm sure some people agree that carbs do not fill them up. Nothing is as satisfying as protein IMO. Fat is a distant second.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on January 09, 2013
at 12:26 PM

Sure does tie in with food reward concept. Explains why cashews are (were, for me) so easy to over indulge in... Fat plus starch, possible salt too... Agree totally re fat and carbs combos - by raising palatbaility it seems to encourage higher rates of consumption. My experiences is the same as yours - a plain roasted sweet potoato is a halluva lot less palatable than if said sweet potato is paired with aioli...

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on January 09, 2013
at 05:36 PM

For fat & carbs in nature, I can only think of avocados and olives that we use for food. People sometimes forget that avocados have a ton of fiber, and about 1/2 is soluble (i.e. not just "roughage"). However, neither of these is high in digestible carbohydrates, just fibrous carbs.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on January 09, 2013
at 02:37 PM

INSULIN is a satiety hormone. fat produces ZERO insulin response. First is protein, then starch, then finally fat at the least satiating. Most rewarding? Yes. Most Satiating? Absolutely NOT.

3
19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on January 09, 2013
at 06:02 AM

I don't know...

If I eat 2 or 3 eggs cooked in butter or tallow, I'm full, and don't really feel the need to eat for 8+ hours. My mind is clear and I don't think about food. Sure, I do eat after 6 hours because it's the time my husband is home, and it's nice to eat dinner together.

But if instead I ate carbs, whether from vegetables, grains, or legumes, this is what happens: after I'm done, my stomach feels full, but I want more. I crave more and more. I can't concentrate on anything because my mind is constantly thinking about eating more of those carbs.

It doesn't matter if the meal is high starch or high fiber. When I eat those, my stomach may indeed be full, but all I can think is how much I feel like eating more. The only way to stop it is to go back to eating my regular meals (65%+ cholesterol/saturated fat).

Sometimes at night I want a snack while watching a movie (not because I'm hungry, but because you're "supposed to" snack while watching movies), so I make some quick mashed potatoes (one potato, one sweet potato, chicken stock, two tablespoons of butter). Even though I wasn't hungry before I ate the mashed potatoes, after I eat them I'm constantly thinking about making more and more mashed potatoes, even though my stomach feels so full.

Remember that the vast majority of people snack all day long, because they're always hungry eating the way the USDA diet tells us we should. So if they manage to go two hours without feeling hungry, they consider that an amaaaaaaazing achievement! So yes, I really think the people in the study weren't fat adapted. I mean, hello, they're college students with a crappy college meal plan, probably.

In the first weeks of Paleo, many people say they're constantly hungry, because their body isn't used to being so low carb.
The study needs to be done with people who eat the high-carb USDA diet, and people who eat a high-fat diet (atleast 60-70% saturated fat).

The study only measured two hours. I suggest they measure a whole day, making the two different groups of people eat the two respective diets for atleast two months before testing. Then they can give fatty and carby meals to both groups, and measure satiety levels, but only stop measuring time until the person is hungry again.
They should give 3 meals per day, no snacks.
I think that would be much more interesting.

[...] participants who had eaten whole grain bread or lean protein kept their nibbling impulses at bay for much longer as their bodies continued to work on what they were still processing.

Now they should compare the whole grain bread and the lean protein with pulled pork (pork butt and lard), avocado, eggs, or steak. Three large eggs and a teaspoon of tallow is about 240 calories. I hope they choose to use that as an example meal if they do the study again. I don't think the students would even have any "nibbling impulses" whatsoever to "keep at bay" if they ate this breakfast.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on January 09, 2013
at 12:28 PM

@ Rea and to clean off the stains ;)

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on January 09, 2013
at 12:28 PM

isn't being ravenous after a carb meal linked to insulin resistance/blood sugar dopping too much too quickly during and after the meal...?

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on January 09, 2013
at 06:21 PM

Michael I thought so too but I don't have symptoms of low blood sugar when this happens. Years ago I suffered for severe hypoglycemia, so I know what it feels like. With my potato example, I don't have any symptoms of hypoglycemia, and I'm not ravenous, because if I were I'd just eat leftover roast beef and I'd be all set. It's just I can't concentrate on my work (or reading) because my mind goes "POTATOES POTATOES POTATOES!!!" and won't shut up :( I guess it gives cravings.

3bc294cb7745a5e99612ff886ca00101

(1186)

on January 09, 2013
at 12:16 PM

You know what's great for a movie? A mug of your favourite tea, and someone to cuddle if you're lucky. :) Also, pomegranate, because it takes forever to eat all those little seeds!

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on January 09, 2013
at 06:00 PM

Rea, you know what's great for a movie? Knitting and crocheting! That's what I do now :)

2
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on January 09, 2013
at 03:49 PM

My experience, and that of lots of other people, is that fat is a lot more satiating than starch. This is such an individual specific thing though that you would be much better just trying it out for yourself (properly) and seeing which allows you to eat less over the long term.

The satiety index study is truly terrible. Asking for satiety ratings over a couple of hours is clearly a terrible measure of satiety. Eating a load of very quickly digested carbs, e.g. pasta or plain sugar, will make you very full (indeed sick) in the short term (i.e. the first couple of hours), but also quickly less full thereafter. It's also ignoring the possible impact of having a diet that is low in carbohydrate or in fact over the medium term: you can't test whether a high fat diet would be satiating by making people who have eaten a high carb diet for their entire lives eat one 240kcal 'meal' that is slightly higher in fat than the comparison foods. They're not even comparing a single meal of heavy cream to a single meal of potatoes, they're comparing things like white bread to croissant and making judgements based on that. These findings don't tell you very much even in terms of these simple comparisons: e.g. french fries are more satiating per calorie than white bread, white pasta is less satiating than brown pasta, but brown rice is more satiating than white rice... make of that what you will.

32be195157f00ad15a933b8bb333dcc4

(379)

on January 10, 2013
at 05:31 AM

Is this why maybe eating carbs at night isn't so bad? You are full immediately after and then you are sleeping when the fullness wears off.

1
35bc838bd11ae409f687f7bf2bcae071

on January 09, 2013
at 02:46 PM

I can relate to the full yet still wanting to eat/thinking about food feeling. I call that feeling appetite and find fat to be the most excellent appetite suppressant. Personally, I dislike feeling "full" which is what high satiety foods are about I guess. It is much nicer to consume a smaller volume of food and then not think about eating. Being full and still wanting to eat feels pretty gross.

32be195157f00ad15a933b8bb333dcc4

(379)

on January 09, 2013
at 04:59 PM

This is an interesting thought, I think you might be on to something. I have had lots of occasions where I was 'full' but still gorged on whatever happened to be near :)

1
85088a0f15fb799f054b8f53b95cff6d

(28)

on January 09, 2013
at 07:29 AM

Totally agree with the first answer.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on January 09, 2013
at 12:31 PM

I think the poster meant first as in newest, not best.. I agree with the point though

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on January 09, 2013
at 12:14 PM

dude. The one with the most votes is like ALWAYS the best answer.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on January 09, 2013
at 08:33 AM

nice to know...which one is the first answer?

1
5dd50f78f47b8848d93724d6eb38d4c1

on January 09, 2013
at 05:16 AM

There's a wide array of fatty foods and starches. Some more satisfying than others. I know pure fat isn't satisfying much to me. I can drink a coffee with 400 calories of coconut oil and still be just as hungry. I don't find coconut flesh very satisfying either. There's starches like white bread which have a low satiety score and there's starches like potatoes which have one of the highest satiety scores. So it's not as simple as fat vs starch.

E639bc85fd42430285596434a6515ad5

(2226)

on January 09, 2013
at 05:52 AM

Right — definitely not as simple as just fat versus starch. Fiber content and water content in foods, for example, are both known to increase satiety regardless of macronutrient composition. (Which probably helps explain why potatoes are more satiating than white bread.)

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on January 09, 2013
at 06:04 AM

Yup, even if I eat the same calories, my satiety lasts much longer eating beef shoulder than it does with eating fish.

0
2e6e673ce3eb647407d260d4d57a731b

(1021)

on January 09, 2013
at 07:18 PM

IME fat isnt necessarily any more satisfying than starch. i have found white rice to be very satisfying

0
383127951e2e17f23b584cd3842bb796

(835)

on January 09, 2013
at 04:14 PM

i think palatability plays a bigger role than the type of macronutrient.

0
3bc294cb7745a5e99612ff886ca00101

(1186)

on January 09, 2013
at 12:10 PM

From my experience-- eating fat leaves me feeling very sated. Was just noticing after eating dinner last night-- braised veal with leeks and mushrooms-- I consumed a lot of meat, and did not eat a starchy vegetable or anything on this occasion. I still felt like eating when I finished, so then ate some big pieces of juicy fat I had left in the pan... dipped in more of the gravy (drippings, bone broth, garlic, herbs).

Suddenly felt soooo full, and am not at all hungry for breakfast several hours later.

0
42d2659b00602d58a378356006d0c737

(140)

on January 09, 2013
at 06:27 AM

That's interesting, as I've found the opposite to be true for me, and I seriously doubt that I'm fat adapted, considering the amount of fruit I eat. Protein usually satisfies me on its own for a good while, but if I eat any carbs (with or without the protein), I'm not satiated until I eat more fat. Last night I made beef stew with sweet potatoes and peas, and I ate two servings of it. My stomach was full, but I was still hungry. My body was missing something. I eventually had to melt some coconut oil and butter and mix it with unsweetened cocoa powder... sort of like a bastardized bulletproof pudding? I was golden for the rest of the night, and only the slightest bit hungry when I woke up this morning. I used to wake up starving every morning when I was vegetarian, and right after my started transitioning into paleo/primal--before I added more fat to my diet.

This happens at lunch, too. If I don't have leftovers, I'll have a boiled egg or two and some fruit, but I'll be hungry again in a couple hours if I don't add some full fat yogurt, cheese, or nuts to go with the fruit--or pour some half & half in my coffee if I'm desperate and broke. That lasts me until dinner, usually. Carbs are great for short-term satiety, like the article says, but fats are better in the long run. At least for me.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!