High-satiety meat, poultry & eggs: the best options

Eating meat, poultry, and eggs can help you lose weight without going hungry. Why? They provide a lot of satiety — the feeling of being full and satisfied — so you naturally take in fewer calories. Plus, these tasty foods are rich in protein and other essential nutrients.

In this guide, we provide satiety scores for different types of meat, poultry, and eggs, so you can see which options maximize fullness while minimizing calories. How do your favorites measure up?

HSE-meat-poultry-eggs

What are high-satiety foods?

High-satiety foods help you feel as full as possible for the fewest number of calories. In other words, they provide high satiety per calorie

As part of our higher-satiety eating approach, we assign all foods a satiety score from 0 to 100. The score is calculated using four factors related to satiety:

  1. Protein percentage: the percentage of a food’s calories that come from protein rather than fat and carbs. Protein is an essential nutrient that reduces hunger and helps you feel full. For this reason, protein percentage is given the most weight when calculating the satiety score.
  2. Energy density: the calories (or energy) in a specific weight of food, such as 100 grams (3.5 ounces). Studies show that eating less-dense foods leads to eating less.
  3. Fiber: the non-digestible portion of carbs that can stretch your stomach and help you feel full.
  4. Hedonic factor: a score reduction for the decadent foods that can drive overeating.

What’s a “good” satiety score? Any food that scores from 40 to 59 provides moderate satiety per calorie. Foods that score 60 or above are considered high-satiety foods. Fortunately, many types of meat, poultry, and eggs have satiety scores above 60.

Also, if you eat filling foods that you truly like, you won’t feel as though you’re “on a diet.” Keep this in mind as you look at the satiety scores. You don’t have to choose foods at the very top of each list! Just aim for protein foods with scores of 60 or above most of the time. 

You can also combine high-satiety protein foods with smaller amounts of lower-satiety foods like cheese, or butter or oil for food preparation. This will add enjoyment to your meal and result in an average score of about 50 — a good overall score for higher-satiety eating. For more information, please see our guide, Introducing our new satiety score.


Meat

Red meat — such as beef, pork, and lamb — is packed with high-quality protein and essential vitamins and minerals like potassium and magnesium. According to studies, eating red meat may also help you lose weight without cravings.

Leaner cuts like sirloin tend to have higher satiety scores than fattier cuts like ribeye. This means that you’ll likely end up taking in fewer calories if you choose a lean steak instead of a fattier one, while feeling similarly full.

But remember, it’s important to enjoy what you eat. And, with a few exceptions, even the fattier cuts of red meat have impressive satiety scores. As you’ll see, you’ve got a wide range of options to choose from.

Here are the satiety scores and grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving of cooked meat — about the size of a deck of cards.

Beef

88

Top sirloin steak

About 29 grams of protein per serving


86

Filet mignon

About 29 grams of protein per serving


86

Liver

About 28 grams of protein per serving*


85

Lean ground beef
(93% lean)

About 26 grams of protein per serving


79

Ground beef
(85% lean)

About 24 grams of protein per serving


76

New York
strip steak

About 24 grams of protein


73

Ground beef (75% lean)

About 25 grams of protein per serving


73

Brisket

About 27 grams of protein per serving


68

Ribeye steak

About 22 grams of protein


67

Prime rib

About 22 grams of protein per serving


* limit liver to one serving per week due to its high vitamin A content


Pork

88

Pork tenderloin

About 28 grams of protein per serving


88

Extra-lean ground pork*

About 29 grams of protein per serving


78

Pork chops

About 27 grams of protein


79

Pork roast

About 28 grams of protein per serving


70

Ground pork (85% lean)

About 29 grams of protein per serving


67

Pork shoulder

About 27 grams of protein


60

Ground pork (72% lean)

About 23 grams of protein per serving


54

Pork ribs

About 20 grams of protein per serving


37

Pork belly

About 17 grams of protein


* (95% lean/5% fat)


Lamb

85

Lamb tenderloin

About 31 grams of protein per serving


83

Leg of lamb

About 27 grams of protein per serving


81

Lamb shank

About 29 grams of protein


68

Lamb chop

About 28 grams of protein per serving
(two to three lamb chops)


Veal

87

Veal sirloin

About 26 grams of protein per serving


86

Ground veal

About 24 grams of protein per serving


82

Veal rib

About 24 grams of protein


Bison and buffalo

89

Top round buffalo

About 31 grams of protein per serving


85

Bison top round steak

About 30 grams of protein per serving


80

Ground bison

About 26 grams of protein


High-satiety meat recipes


Poultry

Chicken and turkey are excellent for satiety-based eating. In fact, research suggests a poultry-rich diet can be beneficial for weight loss.

Like red meat, poultry provides a nice dose of vitamins and minerals in addition to protein. Plus, chicken and turkey are widely available and generally more affordable than most types of red meat. 

Should you choose light meat (breast) or dark meat (thighs, legs, or wings)? No matter which part you prefer, chicken and turkey have great satiety scores across the board — whether you eat the skin or not. By contrast, duck and goose without skin have high satiety scores; with skin, their scores are moderate.

Chicken

Here are the satiety scores and grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving of cooked chicken:

89

Skinless chicken
breast

About 31 grams of protein per serving
(approximately half of a large chicken breast)


88

Chicken drumstick
without skin

About 26 to 28 grams of protein per serving
(approximately two medium drumsticks)


87

Chicken breast
with skin

About 31 grams of protein per serving
(approximately half of a large chicken breast)


87

Chicken liver

About 26 grams of protein per serving
(limit liver to one serving per week due to its high vitamin A content)


86

Chicken wing without skin

About 31 grams of protein per serving
(approximately five wings)


83

Chicken thigh without skin

About 26 grams of protein per serving
(approximately one medium chicken thigh)


83

Chicken drumstick with skin

About 27 grams of protein per serving
(approximately two medium drumsticks)


77

Chicken thigh with skin

About 26 of protein per serving
(approximately one medium chicken thigh)


73

Chicken wing with skin

About 23 grams of protein per serving
(approximately three wings)


Turkey

Here are the satiety scores and grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving of cooked turkey — about the size of a deck of cards:

90

Skinless turkey
breast

About 28 grams of protein per serving


87

Turkey drumstick
without skin

About 29 grams of protein per serving


85

Turkey breast
with skin

About 27 grams of protein


85

Lean ground turkey
(93% lean)

About 28 grams of protein per serving


73

Regular ground turkey
(85% lean)

About 29 grams of protein per serving


Other poultry

Here are the satiety scores and grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving of cooked poultry — about the size of a deck of cards:

83

Goose (skin not eaten)

About 29 grams of protein per serving


82

Duck (skin not eaten)

About 26 grams of protein per serving


56

Goose (skin eaten)

About 21 grams of protein


50

Duck (skin not eaten)

About 21 grams of protein per serving


High-satiety poultry recipes


Deli and prepared meats

Deli and prepared meats — also referred to as processed meats — have been cured, smoked, or dried. They’re often considered less healthy than fresh meat, even though claims linking processed meats to health problems are based on very weak observational evidence

However, most deli and prepared meats have low satiety scores because they’re low in protein and high in fat. 

The good news is, several processed meats provide higher satiety per calorie. So most of the time, choose types with satiety scores of 60 or above, and indulge in the lower-scoring options less often. Here are the satiety scores and grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving of deli and prepared meats (about the size of a deck of cards), unless otherwise noted.

88

Canadian (pork loin) bacon

About 28 grams of protein per serving


86

Extra-lean ham (5% fat)

About 23 grams of protein per serving


86

Pastrami

About 22 grams of protein per serving


84

Prosciutto

About 28 grams of protein per serving


81

Regular ham (11% fat)

About 23 grams of protein per serving


79

Corned beef

About 22 grams of protein per serving


78

Chicken or turkey sausage

About 22 grams of protein per serving (approximately four to six links, depending on the size)


74

Turkey bacon

About 23 grams of protein per 2-ounce (60-gram) serving
(approximately four slices)


53

Bacon

About 17 grams of protein per 2-ounce (60-gram) serving
(approximately six slices)


51

Salami

About 20 grams of protein per serving (approximately 10 medium slices)


51

Pork sausage

About 17 grams of protein per serving (approximately four to six medium links)


44

Chorizo

About 17 grams of protein per serving (approximately one-half cup)


41

Liverwurst

About 20 grams of protein per serving (approximately 10 medium slices)


38

Spam

About 17 grams of protein per serving (approximately four to six medium links)


37

Hot dog

About 17 grams of protein per serving (approximately one-half cup)


High-satiety processed meat recipes


Eggs

If you’re looking for a high-satiety food that’s inexpensive, versatile, and tasty, consider eggs. Several studies show that protein-rich eggs can help you feel full for hours. Plus, eating eggs for breakfast may help you take in fewer calories for the rest of the day.

Yes, eggs are a breakfast staple. But feel free to enjoy them anytime and prepared in any way — poached, scrambled, fried, or hard-boiled.

Should you go for egg whites or whole eggs? Egg whites provide protein for fewer calories than whole eggs, but whole eggs are undeniably tastier, and they contain more vitamins and minerals than egg whites. Also, although egg yolks are high in cholesterol, they usually don’t raise blood cholesterol levels much.

Overall, whole eggs — or a combination of whole eggs and egg whites — may provide the most enjoyable satiety-based eating experience. 

More good news? Frying eggs in a small amount of butter or bacon fat only reduces their satiety score a little bit. 

Here are the satiety scores and grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving of eggs.

90

Egg whites

11 grams of protein per serving (three large egg whites)


72

Whole eggs

12 grams of protein per serving (two large eggs)


63

Spinach omelet

(3 eggs, 1 ounce of cheese, and 1 cup of spinach fried in 1 teaspoon of fat)


62

Whole eggs fried in 1 teaspoon of fat

12 grams of protein per serving (two large egg whites)


45

Egg yolks

16 grams of protein per serving (six large egg yolks)


High-satiety egg recipes


High-satiety meal plan

Do you want a week’s worth of delicious, high-satiety meals that are ready in 15 minutes or less? Check out our meal plan:


Summary

Nearly all types of meat, poultry, and eggs are excellent for higher-satiety eating. In addition to helping you feel full, these foods taste good and are rich in protein and other essential nutrients.

To lose weight in a healthy way without feeling hungry or deprived, include one of your favorite high-satiety options at every meal.

High-satiety meat, poultry & eggs: the best options – the evidence

This guide is written by Franziska Spritzler, RD and was last updated on June 28, 2022. It was medically reviewed by Dr. Bret Scher, MD on May 25, 2022.

The guide contains scientific references. You can find these in the notes throughout the text, and click the links to read the peer-reviewed scientific papers. When appropriate we include a grading of the strength of the evidence, with a link to our policy on this. Our evidence-based guides are updated at least once per year to reflect and reference the latest science on the topic.

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Read more about our policies and work with evidence-based guides, nutritional controversies, our editorial team, and our medical review board.

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  1. In a 12-day randomized crossover study, people were allowed to eat as much as they wanted on a high-protein, normal-protein, and low-protein diet. During the high-protein portion of the trial, they consumed 500-550 fewer calories than they did during the normal-protein and low-protein portion of the trial:

    The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2013: Protein leverage affects energy intake of high-protein diets in humans [randomized trial; moderate evidence]

    A systematic review of randomized controlled trials found that higher-protein diets tend to promote weight loss, due in part to reducing hunger and increasing satiety:

    Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2004: The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss: a critical review [systematic review of randomized trials; strong evidence]

  2. In short-term trials, overweight and lean women ended up eating fewer calories when they were allowed as much food as they wanted at low-energy-density meals compared to high-energy-density meals – even though they reported having similar hunger and fullness levels after all meals:

    The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1998: Energy density of foods affects energy intake in normal-weight women [randomized trial; moderate evidence]

    The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2001: Energy density of foods affects energy intake across multiple levels of fat content in lean and obese women [randomized trial; moderate evidence]

    In a one-year trial, overweight women who cut back on fat and increased the amount of low-energy-density foods in their diet lost more weight than women who simply cut back on fat, even though both groups were allowed to eat as much as they wanted:

    The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007: Dietary energy density in the treatment of obesity: a year-long trial comparing 2 weight-loss diets [randomized trial; moderate evidence]

  3. In a small study, people who ate a large portion of spinach at lunch felt significantly full, which researchers attributed in part to the increased fiber in the meal:

    International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 1995: Satiety effects of spinach in mixed meals: comparison with other vegetables [non-controlled study; weak evidence]

  4. In a study conducted in an inpatient hospital ward, 20 people ate a non-calorie-restricted ultra-processed diet and non-calorie-restricted minimally processed diet for two weeks each, in random order. The participants ate an average of 500 calories more per day on the ultra-processed diet — entirely from carbohydrates and fats — and gained 2 pounds (0.9 kilos), on average:

    Cell Metabolism 2019: Ultra-processed diets cause excess calorie intake and weight gain: An inpatient randomized controlled trial of ad libitum food intake [randomized trial; moderate evidence]

  5. In a 16-week weight loss trial, 120 women with excess weight were assigned to either eat four or more lean beef servings per week or to restrict all red meats. Despite similar weight loss of 8.7% in both groups, women in the lean beef group reported fewer cravings and fewer feelings of deprivation compared to those who limited red meat intake:

    Nutrients 2018: Hunger, food cravings, and diet satisfaction are related to changes in body weight during a 6-month behavioral weight loss intervention: The Beef WISE study [randomized trial; moderate evidence]

    A trial in people with overweight or obesity found that including 500 grams (17.6 ounces or approximately three 6-ounce servings) of lean red meat per week as part of a Mediterranean diet resulted in equal weight loss and reduction in metabolic risk factors compared to following the same basic diet but eating much less red meat:

    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2018: A Mediterranean-style eating pattern with lean, unprocessed red meat has cardiometabolic benefits for adults who are overweight or obese in a randomized, crossover, controlled feeding trial [moderate evidence]

  6. Meat and poultry lose about 25% of their weight in cooking. The protein content of 4.5 ounces of raw meat or poultry is equivalent to about 3.5 ounces of cooked meat or poultry.

  7. Biological Trace Element Research 2011: Frequent consumption of selenium-enriched chicken meat by adults causes weight loss and maintains their antioxidant status [randomized trial; moderate evidence]

    Nutrition 2003: Weight loss and total lipid profile changes in overweight women consuming beef or chicken as the primary protein source [randomized trial; moderate evidence]

  8. Ducks and geese have a layer of fat beneath their skin that helps them stay buoyant when swimming and provides them with insulation in cold water.

  9. In trials, people have reported less hunger and greater fullness after meals containing eggs compared to meals without eggs:

    Nutrients 2017: Consuming two eggs per day, as compared to an oatmeal breakfast, decreases plasma ghrelin while maintaining the LDL/HDL ratio [randomized trial; moderate evidence]

    The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2015: The effect of a high-egg diet on cardiovascular risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes: the Diabetes and Egg (DIABEGG) study-a 3-mo randomized controlled trial [moderate evidence]

    International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 2011: The effects of consuming eggs for lunch on satiety and subsequent food intake [randomized trial; moderate evidence]

  10. In one trial, overweight women ate a mixed, equivalent-calorie breakfast containing either two eggs or one bagel. In addition to feeling more satisfied after the egg breakfast, the women ate less at lunch and took in an average of 250 fewer calories for 36 hours after the egg breakfast compared to the bagel breakfast:

    Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2005: Short-term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects [randomized crossover trial; moderate evidence]

    In a similar trial, men consumed fewer calories at lunch after eating an egg-based breakfast compared to a bagel-based breakfast, and averaged 400 fewer calories overall for the next 24 hours — even though both breakfasts had similar calories and macronutrient composition:

    Nutrition Research 2010: Consuming eggs for breakfast influences plasma glucose and ghrelin, while reducing energy intake during the next 24 hours in adult men [randomized crossover trial; moderate evidence]

  11. Your liver makes most of the cholesterol found in your blood, while dietary cholesterol contributes much less:

    Clinica Chimica Acta; International Journal of Clinical Chemistry 2010: Regulation of cholesterol homeostasis by liver X receptors [overview article; ungraded]

    In most people, eating more eggs prompts the body to produce less cholesterol, resulting in stable levels in the blood:

    Nutrients 2018: Intake of 3 eggs per day when compared to a choline bitartrate supplement, downregulates cholesterol synthesis without changing the LDL/HDL ratio [randomized trial; moderate evidence]

    Additionally, your body may not absorb most of the cholesterol you get from food:

    Nutrients 2018: Dietary cholesterol contained in whole eggs is not well absorbed and does not acutely affect plasma total cholesterol concentration in men and women: results from 2 randomized controlled crossover studies [moderate evidence]