Why we eat what we eat
Written by on Monday 9 March 2015
A fragrant and crispy piece of bread straight from the oven makes the mouth water and leaves us sated. A sloppy burger, on the other hand...
The smell of a crispy piece of sourdough straight from the oven makes the mouth water and leaves us sated. A sloppy burger quickly makes our body demand more nutrients. This kind of eating behaviour is the result of our so-called metabolic and sensory processes. Our cognition, however, also plays a part.
Our metabolism converts food into energy and asserts itself with feelings of hunger and satiety. Metabolic processes mostly take place in our stomach and intestines and are regulated by a number of different hormones.
Feel sated for longer
Proteins satiate the most when compared to carbohydrates and fats. Research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition(2003) shows that consumers subconsciously reduce their energy intake after a protein rich meal.
Studies show that proteins could be supressing the production of ghrelin, a hormone that makes you hungry. Proteins also inhibit the production of hormones that raise your glucose levels (GLP-1 and cholecystokinin), which makes you feel sated for longer. A protein rich eating pattern also increases your metabolism because the body requires more energy to digest protein compared to fats and carbohydrates.
The texture of food is very influential on our eating behaviour. Whether we ingest liquids or solids is important for our feelings of satiety. With the exception of milk when we were a baby, evolutionary speaking, we have never had access to liquid calories. While we had grapes, for example, we did not have grape juice. We have always had to chew our food properly in order to ingest enough calories. According to Professor Kees de Graaf, this is the reason why our body is not very good at recognizing liquid calories than solid calories.
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