Curb Your Appetite By Slowing Down The Digestion Of Fats
Tricking your stomach can combat obesity.
High-fat diets contribute to obesity because most foods that are high in fat are also high in calories. Research conducted by Peter Wilde, food expert at the Institute of Food Research in England, finds that slowing digestion by modifying low-fat foods helps keep your appetite at bay by mimicking the slowed digestion that occurs with a fatty meal. Talk with your doctor before beginning a new weight loss program.
Normal Digestive Function
Digestion actually begins in your mouth as you chew food. The food moves down your esophagus and into your stomach, where it is broken down and passed to your intestines. It is here that nutrients are absorbed for use by your various body systems. Fats remain in your stomach longer than carbohydrates and protein, which are the three nutritional sources of calories. While a fatty meal may keep you feeling full longer, many are low in vitamins and minerals and high in calories, both of which are factors that contribute to health problems. Creating similar slowed digestive conditions with low-fat foods might help with weight loss and nutrient intake, according to Wilde.
Wilde's research is based on the idea that tricking your digestive system into thinking you are full curbs appetite and prevents overeating. His theory is that copying the digestion of fats, which mostly occurs toward the end of your digestive system, makes you feel full even if you haven't eaten a high-fat meal. When fats are digested they release hormones that tell your body you are full. Creating similar digestive conditions with modified low-fat foods might produce the same satiety hormones, allowing for weight loss.
How it Works
Wilde and his colleagues are working to create foods that digest like fatty ones do. Their goal is to create modified foods that slow digestion, curbing appetite and aiding in weight loss. These foods are essentially drops of fat coated with modified plant proteins. These items digest similarly to high-fat foods, but don't contain as much fat. The benefit is that you feel as if you've eaten a fatty meal because the modified foods stimulate the production of appetite-suppressing hormones in the later stages of the digestive process. Human trials began in 2011 to determine how well these modified foods work for controlling weight.
Wilde's research is one of the only studies of its kind, and more information is needed to make conclusions about the benefits of foods that modify digestion. While there is hope that Wilde's products could help combat obesity, healthy weight loss involves cutting calories and increasing exercise. If you need to lose a significant amount of weight, talk with your doctor about healthy and appropriate ways to do so.