What exactly makes a food both healthy and filling? Here are three reasons certain foods can give you a feeling of healthy satisfaction:

Dietary fiber- expands in your stomach and intestines, making you feel full for longer. 
Good fat- Fat remains in the stomach longer and this delayed emptying leaves you with delayed hunger pains.
Power of protein- Protein keeps you satisfied with its slow digestion, but more importantly it sustains you between meals by maintaining your energy.

I think we can all agree that it doesn’t hurt when they taste fantastic either.  Listed below are 10 of the most filling, health foods that happen to be 10 of my all time favorite foods!

Avocado: I can’t rave enough about this fruit. Its full, buttery texture will leave both your stomach and palate satisfied. This baby is just loaded with good fat, 3 grams of fiber per quarter of avocado, and contains cancer-fighting properties.

Almonds: About 23 almonds will give you snack packed with fiber, protein and good fat. Containing 6 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fiber per ounce, almonds are among the lowest in calories for tree nuts.  

Eggs: The perfect protein and the perfect breakfast! With only about 60 calories per egg, 4 grams of fat, and 6 grams of protein, eggs can offer plenty of health benefits.

Muesli: In a third of a cup, this fantastic food can offer your body- 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 620 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids, 1030 mg of Omega-6 fatty acids, and essential vitamins for only 160 calories.

Berries: Add a ½ cup of fruit on the side of that egg breakfast and now you’re talking. Fruit is both refreshing and tasty; and can help to fill you up on healthy fiber and minimal calories before you engorge yourself with a high calorie meal.

Greens: Spinach, Kale, Mustard Greens, etc all fit the bill.  Whether you eat it as your meal or before your meal, you are gaining copious amounts of nutrients.  This is a very low calorie, fibrous option that will lead to eating a smaller portion at mealtime.

Black Beans: ½ cup of black beans provides you with about 7 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein for only about 100 calories.  Beans miraculously are inexpensive, healthy and delicious.

Popcorn: The guilty pleasure that you do not have to feel too guilty about! This is a great snack to munch on when you don’t want to load up on calories, but need that extra something to feel satisfied. Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop contains 15 calories, 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat, and 250 mg of potassium per cup.  

Quinoa: When quinoa is mixed with cooked vegetables of your choice, you have a double health bonus. ½ cup of quinoa provides less than 200 calories, 7 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber and 3 grams of fat.

Sweet Potato: If you’re craving a potato- make it a sweet treat. Sweet potatoes contain fiber and complex carbohydrates that are slowly digested and make you feel full for longer.

What are some of your favorite filling foods? There are plenty of great foods to try out, incorporate some or all of these foods into your diet this year. Become proactive; see if you can manage to fill up more quickly on healthy foods!

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