( Originally Published 1929 )
A MUCH neglected factor in diet is satiety value, that is, the degree to which foods give a sense of well-being or satisfaction. Lack of food produces a rhythmic contraction of the stomach which gives rise to the sensation we call hunger. A full stomach gives the contrary feeling--a sense of food gratification.
Foods which remain longest in the stomach and produce the greatest functional activity of this organ have the highest satiety value.
Any food, if eaten to excess, is fattening. But the obese person need not feel that he has to starve himself. With guidance and intelligence in selection, he can eat heartily and still fight his fat. He should take foods that have large volume and great satiety value, giving a feeling of satisfaction without heavy additions to his caloric intake. Don't make the mistake of fancying, as many are prone to do, that in reducing you need only watch the meat, vegetable and dessert courses. Watch the little items. The great dietetic team of bread and but-ter, the soothing confederacy of coffee and cream, aided and abetted by harmless-looking sugar and the cheese-and-cracker tandem may easily add six hundred calories to your meal.
Cabbage is one food that has great satiety value and does not contribute much to overweight.
Clear meat soups and broths do not contain much nourishment, but they are, as is commonly said, "Filling" But even they have their contra-indications.
A meal with meat "sticks to the ribs" and lasts longer than a bread and butter and potato meal.
Potatoes are more filling and less fattening than bread.
Hard-boiled eggs are preferable to soft-boiled eggs, because while the caloric intake is of course the same, the former have greater satiety value.
Next to meat in satiety value is milk; the richer the milk the greater the satiety value.
Fish and oysters have lower satiety value than meat or eggs, probably because they contain less stimulating extractives.
Fat fish has high satiety value—also butter and olive oil, because they retard the emptying of the stomach. This perhaps explains why a salad is more enjoyable when taken with an oily dressing.
Green vegetables have a low satiety value.
The addition of some form of sugar to a meal increases the satiety value of the meal by nearly doubling the time the food remains in the stomach. I find it of value to allow a small amount of oil on salads and permit and even advise coffee for breakfast, and after other meals a mint or demitasse, sweetened, preferably, with saccharin.
You will discover that certain foods are adapted to your system. But it will take some care and patience. Consider the properties of the food which you are about to eat. Recognize that the nutritive value of your food and its volume are two essential items. Though you desire to avoid increase of weight, you must provide your body with its essential fuel.
Once you have found the foods especially adapted to your system, determine the quantity essential to you. Consideration to sex, age, occupation and habits must be given here. Then learn the satiety values and govern yourself accordingly, always being temperate but ridding yourself of the false idea that you have to endure starvation.
I do not wish to be misunderstood in this matter of satiety value. Certain of the foods mentioned are high in both satiety and caloric values, and an inordinate appetite might run past the dietetic switch if too literal an application of the above facts is made.