Satiety vs. Satiation: Why Certain Fruits & Veggies Might Fail

by Fahad Ahmad on February 27, 2019

Many people think satiation and satiety are the same words. However, they are not. In short, satiation is the point where you stop eating food. Satiety, on the other hand, means you feel full and don’t feel the need to eat more. However, foods that may cause you to stop eating right now ie. foods that provide satiation, may not keep you full or satiated in the long run. In simple terms, the reason is that satiation relies heavily on factors such as gastric distention or the filling up of your stomach while satiety primarily relies on gastric retention or food staying within the stomach or gastrointestinal tract. Factors such as food volume and flavor components can influence meal satiation while factors such as the food’s resistance to erosion (eg. pH of food, food transit times and electrostatic forces etc.) and slow gastrointestinal transit times can impact satiety. A practical example is that filling up your stomach with fruits and vegetables may induce quick satiation and might seem like a good idea but these foods may have a quick transit time, you may feel hungry again. This may also explain why some people, especially fruitarians, can eat pounds of fruits and vegetables and still feel hungry all day long while being broke buying so many fruits and veggies. Additionally, rapid distention of your stomach may not be a good idea as several studies have indicated that food binging can lead to an increase in overall stomach capacity(1)(2), especially among people suffering from eating disorders as their satiety mechanisms get compromised in the long run. Instead, the focus should be on long term satiety and gastric retention. This satiety can be attained by foods that are usually coarse, tough, doughy, grainy and viscous gel-like. On the other hand, foods that are usually low viscosity drinks such as sugary beverages, pre-digested macronutrients such as refined carbohydrates and starches, hydrolyzed powders such as protein powders and melt-in-your-mouth foods such as sugary ice-creams are usually signs of foods that have a reduced gastric retention.

There’s more to this narrative and a lot of science behind how satiety and satiation works. For now, this will give you a very basic idea on what satiety and satiation is and how food textures can be a decent gauge on whether a food will keep you full or not.

FAHAD AHMAD

Fahad is the founder of Ketogeek and hosts the Ketogeek Podcast, a world class health show about food, nutrition and health. He is into resistance training, Ashtanga yoga, calisthenics and various forms of training styles. Armed with a idealistic goals distilled in a world of realism, his goal is to help the world make a better place. He leads a life of extreme generalism or as he describes it, 'The Renaissance Lifestyle'.

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It never ceases to amaze me how prosaic, pedestrian, unimaginative people can persistently pontificate about classical grammatical structure as though it's fucking rocket science. These must be the same people who hate Picasso, because he couldn't keep the paint inside the lines and the colors never matched the numbers.”
― Abbe Diaz

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