“Low-fat” labels are old news. Instead, claims to “manage weight” or “keep you fuller longer” are hitting store shelves, according to data from Chicago-based market research firm Mintel.

As our culture shifts its focus from weight loss to overall health and wellness, the food industry is taking notice—adding fiber and protein to everything from cereal to frozen dinners. “Protein stays in our systems longer, and high-fiber foods add bulk to the diet and slow the rate of digestion. This allows the signal from the vagus nerve to reach our brain, telling us that our stomach is full … and leading to satiety,” says Doris Piccinin, RD, director of Seattle-based Bastyr University’s master’s of nutrition, didactic program in dietetics.  

The satiety trend has taken root in Europe, where American conventional food producer Kellogg’s has introduced “Special K Sustain” cereal to “help keep you satisfied for longer.” So far in the U.S., foods that claim to stave off hunger are mostly weight-loss products like diet shakes and bars, though other types of satiety foods are turning up more frequently on store shelves.

 As the buzz around satiety grows, be sure your staff understands the concept and is able to suggest foods that can lead to a feeling of fullness. To help you address the needs of weight-conscious consumers looking to stay full longer, below, experts refine what the term means to them, and suggest their favorite nutritious, whole, satiating foods.

The two types of satiety

In order for foods to be satiating, they need to both taste good and fill the belly. Most of these foods contain fiber, protein, vegetable fats or some combination of the three.

“Satiety means feeling physically satisfied after eating a meal or snack, without the desire to eat more,” says Michelle Babb, RD, adjunct professor at Bastyr University. She tells her weight-conscious clients “the goal is not to feel deprived and hungry, but to eat the right combination of foods so that you are satisfied throughout the day.”

While feeling full is important, Judith Stern, ScD, professor of nutrition at the University of California Davis, believes there’s more to satiety than the physical aspect. “Psychological satiety means ‘this tasted wonderful, I really enjoyed it and now I’m full.’” Even for people trying to lose weight, Stern says, “I think it is really important to only eat good-tasting food and savor it.”

Piccinin advises clients to slow down while they eat in order to make it a sensory experience. “Being cognizant of where our food is coming from and reflecting on what you’re eating is satiating,” she says. “Even if we’re eating healthy, sometimes we’re eating at our desks, picking up a snack and picking up the kids. That can lead us to overeat.”

Try recommending the following foods in their natural forms to weight-conscious customers: