Certain ingredients may fill you up.

KANSAS CITY — Published studies are backing up claims that certain ingredients may fill you up. The satiety benefits of oatmeal, almonds and red peppers were the focus of recent articles.

A study appearing on-line Jan. 23 in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism found oatmeal had a greater satiety effect than corn flakes, especially in overweight subjects. Scientists from the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center in Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital randomly assigned 18 normal weight people and 18 overweight people to each receive three different breakfasts with 350 calories or similar amounts of carbohydrates, fat and liquid. The three breakfasts were quick-cook oatmeal, sugared corn flakes and a control breakfast of 1.5 cups of water.

The scientists obtained ratings of hunger and fullness at different intervals before and after breakfast. The people ate lunch three hours after breakfast. Blood samples were collected after each of the appetite ratings to assess levels of glucose, insulin, acetaminophen (a marker showing how quickly the breakfast emptied from the stomach into the intestine) and hormones related to appetite.

“Our results show that despite eating the same number of calories at breakfast, satiety values were significantly greater after consuming oatmeal compared to sugared corn flakes,” said Allan Geliebter, Ph.D., a research psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital. “Interestingly, the results were more pronounced for the participants who were overweight, suggesting that overweight individuals may be more responsive to the satiety effects of the dietary fiber in the oatmeal.”

When people ate oatmeal, they consumed 31% fewer calories at lunch than when they consumed sugared corn flakes or water. Among the overweight people, the ones who ate oatmeal consumed 50% fewer calories at lunch.

Benefits of almonds and peppers

Almonds and hot red peppers also were shown to have satiety benefits in two studies published last year.

A study appearing on-line Sept. 3, 2014, in the European Journal of Nutrition found almonds have acute satiating effects that are likely to result in no net increase in energy (calories) consumed over a day.

In the study 32 healthy women consumed a standard breakfast and then either a mid-morning snack of 28 grams of almonds, a mid-morning snack of 42 grams of almonds or no mid-morning snack. The women then ate lunch and dinner. They were told to eat until they felt comfortably full.

Overall, a similar amount of calories was consumed on all three test days, which indicated the women compensated for the 173 calories consumed through 28 grams of almonds and the 259 calories consumed through 42 grams of almonds.

“We expected whole almonds to be a food that provides satiety because of their combination of protein, fiber and good fats,” said Sarah Hull, M.S., lead researcher of the study and a principal scientist in nutrition research at Leatherhead Food Research in Surrey, United Kingdom. “However, it was interesting to see the mid-morning snack provided a long-lasting effect on appetite at dinner, not only at lunchtime.”

The Almond Board of California, Modesto, Calif., supported the research. The study suggests almonds may be a smarter snack option since they acutely enhanced satiety, or the feeling of fullness, without increasing total daily calorie consumption.

A meta-analysis on hot red peppers (Capsicum frutescens L. Solanaceae) appeared in the September/October 2014 issue of Nutrition Today. It involved researchers from Maastricht University in The Netherlands who sought to find whether capsaicin might help people manage or lose weight.

The meta-analysis cited one study where 24 healthy people consumed 1 of 4 treatments in random order: 0.9 gram of red pepper (0.25% capsaicin) in tomato juice, 0.9 gram of red pepper in two capsules, a placebo of 0.9 gram of vegetable oil in tomato juice, or a placebo of two capsules with each capsule having 450 mg of vegetable oil.

Satiety increased after capsaicin was ingested. Average daily energy intakes were 10% lower after the people ingested the red pepper in capsules when compared to intakes of people in the two placebo groups. Average daily energy intakes were 16% lower after people consumed red pepper in tomato juice when compared with the intakes of people in the two placebo groups.

“Capsaicin appears to reduce energy intake through sensory, food choice and satiety mechanisms,” the meta-analysis concluded. “Doses of capsaicin between 2.25 mg and 33 mg in meals have been shown to increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation, which suggests positive benefits for individuals in negative energy balance, as occurs when dieting.”

Gut signals

The gut sending signals to the brain also may affect satiety.

A study published on-line Dec. 10, 2014, in Gut hypothesized how the colonic delivery of short chain fatty acid propionate would increase peptide YY and glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1) secretion in humans, thus reducing energy intake and weight gain. Hormonal and neuronal signals from the gastrointestinal tract play a role in appetite regulation, according to the study from Imperial College London in London.

The randomized, controlled cross-over, 24-week study involved 60 overweight adults. They were given either 10 grams a day of an inulin-propionate ester or 10 grams a day of inulin. The researchers concluded increasing colonic propionate prevents weight gain in overweight adults. No one in the inulin-propionate ester group had substantial weight gain while 17% (4 of 24) in the inulin group had substantial weight gain.

Inulin and oligofructose also have been associated with satiety.

Evidence on oligofructose comes from a study appearing in the June 1, 2009, issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers from the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alta., conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with 48 healthy adults who randomly were assigned to receive either 21 grams of oligofructose a day or 21 grams of maltodextrin a day for 12 weeks.

The people who took the oligofructose lost 1.03 kilograms (2.3 lbs), plus or minus 0.43 kilogram, over the 12 weeks. The control group gained 0.45 kilogram (1 lb), plus or minus 0.31 kilogram. Suppressed ghrelin and enhanced peptide YY may have contributed in part to the reduced energy intake, the researchers said.