Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday Tips: Some fatty meals can make you hungrier?!

A lunch time discussion about the satiety value of "healthy" foods vs. "unhealthy" foods had me curious to see if there had been any research done on the topic. I poked through the RealAge tip database and found this gem.

All About YOU: Some Fats Make You Hungrier
By RealAge (source)
That fatty bacon cheeseburger may be loaded with calories, but at least it stomps out your hunger. Right?

Not necessarily. Compared to low-fat meals with the same number of calories, meals high in saturated fat will produce lower levels of leptin -- a hormone that turns off appetite. Here's how to get leptin levels up.

All fats, saturated and unsaturated, have 9 calories per gram. Because they provide equal amounts of energy, you'd think all fats satisfy your appetite in the same way. But they don't.

To get leptin levels up, you need to eat healthful unsaturated fats. You'll find them in nuts, seeds, olives, fish, avocados, and vegetable oils. Do you know your fats? Test your knowledge with this quiz.

And while you're cutting back on hunger-amping sat fat, watch your alcohol intake, too. Alcohol also inhibits leptin.

Learn more about appetite, hormones, and managing your waist by visiting the YOU Docs Center.

These days I rarely get more than 7% of my daily caloric intake from saturated fats and I have found that I am hardly ever ravenous to the point where I am out of control. If you're looking to tidy up your diet, steer your fat choices towards the healthy unsaturated fats and make sure that no more than 10% of your daily caloric intake comes from saturated fat. Additionally, I highly recommend reading about the hormones that your body uses to control its hunger on the RealAge website (see the link above).