Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Satiety Index - A New Concept in Food Rating

Dear Readers,

Traditional measurements like the Glycemic (GI) Index may not be enough in providing guidelines for good health. It is certainly an important measure especially for diabetics and people watching their weight.

The Satiety Index (SI) is one of the most interesting concepts created by rating foods by their ability to be more or less satisfying than white bread, which is used as a reference index of 100. Food items rated less satisfying and filling over a two-hour period following their consumption were given a score below 100, while food items that were rated more satisfying and filling compared to white bread were given a score above 100. Dr. Susanne Holt, who developed the satiety index, found that:

• Cakes, donuts and candy bars were among the least filling, averaging about 65 to 70%.
• French fries, breakfast cereals, white pasta, rice, and bananas ranked from about 100 to 150%.
• Cheese with 146% was about 3x more filling than croissants, which were rated at only 47%.
• Eggs, beef, apples, oranges, grapes, brown pasta, whole grain bread and popcorn averaged from about 150 to 200%.
• Oatmeal and fish ranked 209% and 225% respectively.
• Potatoes were the clear winner with 323% as the most satisfying food.

According to this satiety index, several interesting - and somewhat unexpected discoveries emerged:

• Fat is by far not as satisfying as thought.
• Protein made it into a higher, but not as high as expected category.
• Pastries and most sweets were the least satisfying, which was expected.
• Potatoes (unlike French fries with the fat) were by far the most satisfying foods, which took everyone by surprise since they rank rather poorly according to the glycemic index and the glycemic load.

Variations of these scores for individuals with different biochemical backgrounds can be expected, since eating fruit makes some people hungry very quickly, while in contrast to the findings in the study above, fatty foods do provide longer-lasting satiety for them, however the poorer scores given to donuts and candy bars certainly supports their reputation of not only being addictive, but the least filling and satisfying. It is unfortunate that the satiety of these foods was studied for 2 hours only instead of extending the trial period to perhaps 4-5 hours. This would have more realistically reflected the time in-between meals for the average person, and so made it more practical to apply the satiety index on a day-to-day basis.

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Anonymous said...

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Wheatgrass Man said...

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