Speaking Point: Intro We all have a tendency to overeat once in awhile — or perhaps it’s more than just once in a while — especially around the holidays. But the good news is, scientists have discovered one of the reasons why...and it all has to do with the types of foods we eat.
Speaking Point: 1. Physiological Triggers: New research shows that saturated fats crank up your appetite. They found that not only do they affect our waistlines, but our brains as well. A typical meal consisting of the following contains lots of saturated fat:
Green salad with bleu cheese dressing Steak Butter-glazed carrots Baked potato with sour cream and butter Ice cream for dessert After just three days on a diet high in fatty foods, studies found that the brain doesn’t respond to the hormones that signal you’ve had enough to eat, and this effect can last several days.
Speaking Point: 2. Appetite Hormones: Leptin is a hormone made by the fat cells and tells you when you’re full. If you don’t make enough leptin or your brain doesn’t respond to the leptin, you ending up eating too much. Also, levels of insulin increase when the pancreas senses sugar in the blood after eating. Once the brain detects the insulin spike, it diminishes your desire to eat.
Speaking Point: 3. Sat Fat Effects: Studies on rats and mice found that after just three days on a diet high in saturated fats, their brains became insensitive to leptin and insulin. However, unsaturated fats, like olive oil, did not have this effect.
Speaking Point: 4. Evolutionary Theory: Scientists theorize that this effect is the result of the physiology of starvation when the body burns its own fat for energy. Through evolutionary history, the brain interpreted fat circulating through the blood as a starvation alert which thus, led to overeating.
Speaking Point: 5. Outsmarting the Triggers: By making simple substitutions, you can trick your brain’s hormonal response and eat less. For example:
Eat fish, such as salmon, instead of beef. You can also opt for a vegetarian chili or pasta with marinara sauce. Dip your bread in olive oil and balsamic vinegar or top it with tapenade instead of spreading it with butter. For sandwiches, add a layer of avocado or guacamole instead of mayonnaise. Pour an olive oil-based vinaigrette over your salad instead of creamy bleu cheese or ranch. Reach for non-fat or 1% fat milk, yogurt, and cheese instead of whole. Enjoy some refreshing fruit as a snack or dessert instead of rich buttery pastries and ice cream.
Speaking Point: 6. Reset Your Brain: After indulging in eating a lot of saturated fats, it may take several days for your brain’s hormonal signals to respond appropriately again. But you really can reset your brain to outsmart the physiological triggers to overeat. Sticking to a diet rich in olive oil, fruits and vegetables will help keep your appetite under control.