No, All Calories are Not Alike: Why Some Foods Leave You Feeling Unsatisfied

Despite the common advice that ‘a calorie is a calorie,’ many of us have realized through personal experience that that’s not quite the whole story. If it was the case, then why does 100 calories of fish make us feel so much fuller than 100 calories of potato chips?

It turns out that there are some foods out there, which, due to their taste or nutritional make-up, actually fuel hunger pangs instead of quelling them.

Here are 6 of them:


We know that the processed, high fructose corn syrup-filled juice from the supermarket is bad for us, but it turns out that any juice—even the cold pressed organic variety—with a high sugar and carbohydrate content can make us feel hungrier! Juice makes your blood sugars shoot up, leaving you hungry when they naturally drop again.

To avoid this, switch to green smoothies with lots of low-glycemic fruits and leafy greens, or try to have some protein like raw nuts or a boiled egg along with your juice.

Sushi rolls

Although the fish in the middle might make it seem like a filling option, when you eat a sushi roll you’re eating more white rice than healthy fish. A full California roll, for example, contains as many quickly-digested carbohydrates as three pieces of white bread, and like white bread, doesn’t leave you feeling full for very long.

Instead, opt for some sashimi the next time you’re craving sushi.


Alcohol seems to make food taste so much better, but that’s not the only reason it can make you eat more. Consuming alcohol is a double whammy: it not only lowers your amount of leptin, the hormone that keeps you feeling full, it also depletes your body’s carbohydrate stores—leaving you wanting to eat more to replenish them.

Avoid this unnecessary fate by limiting yourself to 1-2 drinks.

Refined carbohydrates

This means pastas, breads, baked goods, sugary cereals: anything high in carbohydrates and stripped of fiber will make your blood sugar skyrocket and leave you feeling hungry again shortly afterwards. A recent Spanish study displayed this when it found that those who eat 2 or more pieces of white bread per day are 40 percent more likely to become overweight or obese over a 5-year period than those who don’t.

Avoid refined carbs is just good health sense.

Artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners, as we’ve discussed before, have actually been shown to confuse the brain by tricking it into thinking it’s receiving calories. When those calories never come, you’re left feeling even hungrier than before.

There are lots of sweet treats which use natural sweetness sources like raw honey, organic coconut crystals, or molasses. Recipes abound online for goodies you can make at home.

Salty snacks

Pretzels isolated on whiteThese are double trouble in the sense that they’re usually both highly refined, and their flavors have been specifically developed to keep you wanting to eat more. Thanks to a phenomenon called ‘Sensory Specific Satiety,’ consuming a lot of salty snacks may lead you to crave something sweet, as when our taste buds get enough of one flavor, we naturally start to crave another. This is especially true with salty and sweet foods.

Try to reduce the amount of salty snacks you eat, especially the refined, processed variety. Instead, consume well-balanced meals featuring a variety of flavors.

We’re surrounded by unhealthy choices that make sticking to a healthy lifestyle difficult enough, there’s no reason to make things harder on yourself. So here’s a simple idea: avoid these 6 foods—and in the meantime you’ll avoid cravings and hunger pangs!

-The Alternative Daily


Recommended Articles