Functional foods to promote weight loss and satiety

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2014 Nov;17(6):596-604. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000110.


Purpose of review: Diets that induce negative energy balance continue to be the cornerstone of obesity management. However, long-term volitional reduction in energy intake is challenging. Functional foods that enhance satiety may have an important practical application in increasing compliance to weight loss diets and thereby promoting sustained weight loss. Here, we present recent advances in identifying common foods that increase satiety.

Recent findings: Protein induces satiety in the short term. There is no clear evidence to indicate superiority of a specific protein source over the other. Low-fat dairy products, eggs, and legumes enhance satiety. Although energy dense, nuts have some satiety-inducing effect, when included in the diet by isocaloric replacement of usual foods. Satiety induced by dietary fiber sources, such as oats and rye, are well documented, but these sensations do not always translate into reductions in energy intake or body weight.

Summary: Several foods and food groups show promising potential in inducing satiety. However, it is important to recognize that the short-term effect of a food may not always translate into greater weight loss in the long term. Long-term clinical studies are needed to demonstrate the utility of a food in promoting weight loss.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Eggs
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Fabaceae
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Functional Food*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Satiation / physiology*
  • Weight Loss*


  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Dietary Proteins