We might feel fuller, but eating foods marketed for "fullness" won't prevent us from consuming more calories, even when we're not hungry.
There are foods you can eat to keep you fuller, longer. These foods are often touted as aids in weight loss: eat this product and you won't feel the need to eat anymore. How valid is that? Researchers from the University of Sheffield say these foods may curb your hunger, but it won’t prevent you from eating just to eat.
“The food industry is littered with products which are marketed on the basis of their appetite-modifying properties,” said lead researcher of this new study, Dr. Bernard Corfe. “Whilst these claims may be true, they shouldn’t be extended to imply that energy intake will be reduced as a result.”
“For example, you could eat a meal which claims to satisfy your appetite and keep you feeling full-up for a long period of time but nonetheless go on to consume a large amount of calories later on.”
Certain foods are digested more slowly, like eggs, avocados, and legumes, which will help keep you feeling fuller, longer. But to suggest it’s a weight-loss solution, which will prevent people from indulging later on, might be a stretch. We’ve all just eaten to eat; whether we indulge that impulse is another thing.
The study, published in Food Science and Nutrition journal, was a review of 462 papers to see if self-reported hunger levels could be a reliable predictor of calorie consumption. Upon examination of this collected data, researchers found “appetite scores failed to correspond with energy intake in 51.3% of the total studies” and “only 6% of all studies evaluated here reported a direct statistical comparison between appetite scores and energy intake.”
Dr. Corfe says that what drives us to eat isn’t just about one factor. He even told Munchies in an interview: “Appetite is a part of that equation, but our work suggests it may not be the most important part, not by a long way.” Environmental, social, and behavioral drives must be examined, as well.
“This will be important to understand how obesity occurs, how to prevent it, and how we need to work in partnership with the food industry to develop improved tests for foods that are genuinely and effectively able to satisfy appetite,” Dr. Corfe said.
Perhaps the best way to be truly healthy is to eat with a focus on brain health, as nutritional psychiatrist Dr Drew Ramsey recommends: