10 Nutritional Foods to Help Against Food Cravings

There are certain foods that promote satiety (the feeling of fullness that comes after a meal) more than others. These are low GI. While they're not miracle foods, they can help you eat less over the course of the day. When you're looking for foods that are going to keep you fuller for longer, look for ones high in fibre, healthy fats and protein, or with a high water content. The additional benefit is that a lot of these foods are also really good for you and packed with important nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

1. Apples
This portable fruit is the perfect snack, with a high water content and both kinds of weight-busting fibre: soluble, which helps prevent blood sugar spikes that lead to cravings, and insoluble, which helps fill you up. A medium apple is about 85 percent water with 5 grams of soluble fibre, making it a snacking powerhouse. Apples also contain quercetin, a flavonoid shown to help fight certain cancers, reduce cholesterol damage and promote healthy lungs.

TIP: Organic apples are worth the extra cost because commercial apples retain more pesticide residue than fruits you peel, such as oranges or bananas. And with half the fibre and most of the iron, magnesium and vitamin C, you definitely want to eat that peel to get the full slimming benefits.

2. Eggs
They're a great source of protein which may be key to keeping you full. A recent study found that when people ate two eggs for breakfast, they took in more than 400 fewer calories over the next 24 hours than when they ate bread. Eating eggs induces higher satiety and keeps you fuller for longer than the same amount of carbs.

TIP: For a healthier egg, farmers are improving the hen feed by adding canola oil, alfalfa, rice bran and even sea kelp. Try eggs, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, along with more vitamin E and less saturated fat than regular eggs.

3. Cauliflower
When you are trying to lose weight, non-starchy vegetables such as cauliflower are one of the few foods that can be eaten in unlimited quantities. It's good for you, too. Cauliflower contains the cancer-fighting phytonutrient sulforaphane, as well as a good amount of folate and vitamin C, which may be helpful for weight loss. In fact, a review pointed to vitamin C status as a key factor in how much fat is burned during physical activity. All that and it's pretty tasty, too. (If you're not a cauliflower fan, try spinach or broccoli.)

TIP: Love the creamy consistency of mashed potatoes? Steam a head of cauliflower and mash it with garlic salt, a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese and a touch of butter.

4. Low fat Yoghurt
If the yoghurt ads are to be believed, you should be fitting into that itty-bitty bikini before you know it. While yogurt and other dairy products are not weight-loss magic bullets, there is some truth in advertising. Calcium combined with other bioactive compounds found in dairy products slows down the process of making fat and increases fat burning, especially around the belly.

TIP: By adding plain yoghurt to dips, sauces and salad dressings, you get the health benefits without the added sugar of flavoured yoghurts or bad fats of mayonnaise.

5. Oatmeal
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day — just eating it can make you slimmer. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley analyzed a national six-year survey and found that people who ate breakfast had a lower body mass index (BMI) than people who skipped breakfast, and that those who ate cooked cereal had a lower BMI than any other breakfast-eating group. Also, oatmeal was ranked as the most satiating breakfast food on the Satiety Index, developed by Australian researchers a decade ago, and it's the third most satiating food overall. Oatmeal helps you stay fuller longer, since it's packed with fibre and is a good source of protein.

TIP: If you don't have time for cooked oatmeal every morning, make muesli by mixing old- fashioned oats with plain yogurt, dried fruit and fruit juice and leaving it in the fridge overnight.

6. Peanuts
Almonds and walnuts have been getting all the glory these days, but don't discredit peanuts. Peanut eaters end up eating less over the course of the whole day and are more likely to maintain weight. So what is it about peanuts? Is it the protein? The fat? Turns out it's a little bit of everything. "We've tried to isolate different components of the nut to determine what makes it so filling,' says Richard Mattes, Ph.D., a nut researcher at Purdue. "But there is something special about the whole package."

TIP: Calories do count, so look for single-serving sizes at convenience stores and drugstores, and don't have the salted or honey roasted ones, keep them as nature intended!

7. Soup
We all know soup is good food, but who knew it was slimming, too? A recent study published in the journal Obesity Research found that adding two 10-ounce servings of broth-based soup to a weight loss diet each day can almost double the amount of weight lost in a six-month period. Why? Adding water into a food makes it more filling than drinking water separately. "The water in soup adds volume to a meal and helps you feel fuller, without extra calories,' says Dr. Rolls, lead researcher on the study. "As a result, you take in fewer calories over the course of the day."

TIP: Add your own veggies or fibre-rich beans to broth-based canned soup to keep you full longer.

8. Fish
You might be surprised to learn that fish tops oatmeal and vegetables in the satiety department. The Australian Satiety Index ranks steamed white fish such as halibut or cod as the number-one most filling food out of 38 common foods. Also, a new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden found that people ate 11 percent less at dinner after having fish for lunch versus those who ate a beef lunch. "This study demonstrated that a protein-rich lunch meal with fish protein reduced calorie intake compared with the same-calorie lunch meal of beef protein," says lead researcher Saeedah Borzoei, Ph.D. Why is it so filling? "We are still learning about the filling properties of fish, but we do know that fish has a strong flavour, which can lead to greater satiety and less of a need to eat," notes Dr. Katz.

TIP: Grilled fish can be marinaded in soy sauce, lime and ginger.
Here's the final two foods with low GI - high satiety index (they fill you up for longer!).

9. Bulgur
High-fibre grains are a great way to round out a meal, and fine-cut bulgur is easy to cook. Bulgur, which is a quick-cooking form of whole wheat, takes about 10 minutes or less to prepare once water is boiled and is a great substitute for white rice and pasta, which are low in fibre and heavily processed. Fibre helps prolong the insulin response so you don't have the blood sugar spikes you have with low-fibre carbohydrates like white pasta or rice. With all the good fibre comes some other benefits: iron and vitamins E and B6. You can also try bulgar whear in Cambridge's Eat Easy range.

TIP: Find bulgur in health-food stores and organic markets. For a quick side dish, combine fine bulgur with chicken broth, diced canned tomatoes and some cooked onions.

10. Salad
When most people think of dieting, they think of salad. But if that means some sad greens topped with unripe tomatoes, it's no wonder diets don't work. Salads are a great opportunity to add a lot of filling foods into your diet at one time: f fresh vegetables, lean protein, beans and healthy fats. A study found that women who ate a salad before a pasta lunch ate fewer calories for the whole meal than those just digging into the pasta.

TIP: Start your salad with mesclun, arugula or spinach. Not only are these greens tastier than iceberg, they also contain more iron, calcium, vitamin C and folate.
I hope these tips are of use to you.

Best wishes,