Find out what scientists and scientific experiments have to say about how carbohydrates make our bodies feel full. Everyone understands perfectly well that overeating must be avoided. It should be noted that this is a more complex phenomenon than it seems at first glance. There are many variables that have a major impact on each stage of the saturation process. The most obvious variable in this case is satiety.
This is the feeling of fullness that a person experiences after eating food. During a meal, the digestive system transmits information to the brain about the quality and quantity of foods eaten. After processing the received data, the brain forms a feeling of satiety throughout the entire process of food consumption. Keep in mind, however, that there are other factors that affect saturation.
These include the composition of the nutrients and the pleasure obtained from the meal. Food preferences are individual and depend on the taste, smell and even texture of the food. Scientists have shown that protein compounds can induce maximum satiety. In this regard, they are superior to other nutrients.
Fats and carbohydrates have roughly equal satiety. Foods that are high in fat per calorie are less satisfying but can provide better palatability and higher energy values. Many people wonder why taking carbohydrates makes you feel full, and today we will try to answer it.
Scientists have yet to fully understand the behavioral and metabolic processes that lead to overeating. Scientists have put forward a hypothesis about the influence of the hedonic value of products on appetite. One study should be reminded of why taking carbohydrates makes you feel full.
A group of scientists decided to test the theory we voiced just above and evaluate the hedonic value of food desires and preferences. At the moment, there are significantly more questions in this area than answers. The available research results on the effect of food composition on hedonics are highly controversial. In the scientific world, there are sometimes serious discussions about the effect of fats and carbohydrates on overeating.
There have been few studies on this topic, and it is difficult to give an exact answer to the question so far. Now we will talk about the results obtained in the study of the effect of different carbohydrate and fat content of food on the feeling of satiety, the attractiveness of foods and the amount of calories consumed. The experiment involved obese people, as well as those with overweight problems.
Can carbohydrate intake make you feel full: research results
The study was crossover, randomized, and the number of participants was 65 women and men. Recall that all subjects had problems with being overweight or obese. The study participants did not play sports and did not have bad habits.
The subjects had two separate days of test food intake. They first ate foods high in fat (HF) and then high in carbohydrates (HF). Test days were separated by at least two days. Nutrient content on test days was as follows:
- ВЖ - 56 / 13.9 / 30.1 (fats / protein compounds / carbohydrates).
- VU - 23 / 13.5 / 63.5 (fats / protein compounds / carbohydrates).
It is also important to note that the sources of protein compounds were the same on all test days. This eliminated a possible saturation variable that could interfere with the study results. All food consumed by the study participants was brought into full compliance with sensory and taste qualities. Let's say both groups consumed milk, but in one the product had a normal fat content, and in the second it was low.
Throughout the test day, the subjects were in the laboratory. Breakfast and dinner were not limited in terms of energy value, and the calorie content of lunch for each subject was 800 calories. The pause between meals was four hours. After dinner, the study participants went home and each received a box of food for a snack. The change in body weight was determined by weighing before and after meals.
To measure appetite, the scientists used a visual scale and an electronic rating system. The satiety factor (FS) was also determined, which made it possible to determine the ability of a particular product to saturate. The subjects were also asked to choose the products with the maximum attractiveness for everyone.
Often, even in the scientific literature, the concepts of satiety and satiety are used interchangeably. However, there are still differences between them. Saturation should be called the totality of all biochemical processes that take place in the body until the end of the meal. They are activated at the beginning of a meal and reach a climax when a person no longer wants to eat.
The degree of satiety depends on the amount of food eaten, as well as the time spent on the meal. Satiety, in turn, is the process that keeps a person from eating until the next meal begins. This feeling is primarily influenced by the indicator of the energy value of products, the amount of protein compounds and plant fibers.
We will not describe the composition of the diet of the subjects, but immediately proceed to the results obtained. We only note the fact that, on average, the indicator of the energy value of a day with high life was 900 more in comparison with HE. The researchers found no significant differences between the test days in terms of hunger and fullness before breakfast and lunch.
After evaluating satiety at breakfast, VU turned out to be FS in comparison with VZ. Also, in the subjects, the feeling of satiety lasted two hours longer after breakfast on the day of WU. This suggests that eating a high amount of breakfast carbohydrates for breakfast can provide a stronger feeling of fullness compared to fat.
However, virtually all of the study participants showed a great liking for high-fat foods. In the VU group, there was a latent desire to eat fatty foods. And now let's try, based on the results of this study, to answer the question, why does carbohydrate intake give a feeling of fullness?
It can be argued that during the transition from HF to VU, a decrease in the caloric content of the diet is observed, as well as an increase in the feeling of satiety. At the same time, there are no restrictions on food products. It is difficult to say what caused this. Scientists have hypothesized that satiety is influenced by the difference in energy density of each meal program, due to the greater distension of the stomach.
Although researchers have tried to bring the organoleptic properties of products and their taste into full compliance, portions of high-fat liquids have always had a higher energy value. High-calorie foods look more attractive to most people, although they are less satisfying. This happens during a meal, of which there is no doubt. This is what can be called the ability to saturate.
As we have already noted, the indicator of the energy value of the days with the VL turned out to be 900 calories higher than the VU nutrition. This fact gives reason to say that the caloric density of foods is important in explaining the reasons for overeating. Unfortunately, the study authors did not indicate the amount of plant fiber included in each dietary program. We can only assume that this factor was taken into account by the authors and no serious differences were observed.
In assessing attractiveness, the authors of the experiment concluded that strong liking for foods high in fat decreases dramatically after switching to a low-fat diet. A similar situation was noted with the latent desire to consume fatty foods. Note that the nutritional programs did not include only unrefined carbohydrates. The subjects consumed jelly candies, cornflakes, chips, white bread, and biscuits. Therefore, we cannot argue that satiety was achieved on the day of WU by eating foods with a low glycemic index. The situation is similar with protein compounds.
However, as the amount of carbohydrates in the diet increased, the fat content decreased at the same time. This fact can explain the lower calorie intake on WU days. In addition to all that has been said, we must make some reservations. To begin with, the study was short-term and all subjects were assessed only once in each nutritional program.
Obviously, results may differ over the long term. Also, all participants in the experiment had problems with being overweight or even obese. Thus, we are not entitled to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of a particular diet. The same fact does not allow extrapolating the results of the experiment to people with a normal body constitution. When assessing the possibility of regulating nutrients, it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of the organism of each person, the constitution of his body, etc. For example, in this study, the menstrual cycle was not taken into account, which increases the variability.
If you get the big picture and answer why taking carbohydrates makes you feel full, you need to take stock of our conversation. It is quite obvious that the organizers of the study were able to accurately recreate a real nutritional model with a mixed composition of nutrients. Although the study was short-lived, it can be said that even with a lower calorie intake per day, this figure did not fall below 2500 calories.
It is probably not enough just to decrease the energy value for weight loss. Do not forget that each nutrition program contained a fairly large number of refined foods. Eating only whole foods is likely to give you better results. Evaluating the food preferences of people who have been using one of the diets for a long time, the subjects practically did not experience hunger when using the HF nutrition program.
At the same time, the differences with VU were insignificant. While it is impossible to draw far-reaching conclusions from the results of this study, we certainly got food for thought. However, it is worth remembering that the body of each person is unique and there are no universal nutrition programs.