Good news for anyone trying to watch their weight: scientists have uncovered a list of foods that can help you feel full up more quickly.
Sirloin steak, chicken, mackerel and avocados have all been found to trigger a reaction in the brain, which makes people feel fuller for longer.
According to researchers at the University of Warwick, foods that are rich in amino acids trigger feelings of satiety more than others.
The study, which was published in the journal Molecular Metabolism, identified cells in the brain – called tanycytes – which detect nutrients in food and help trigger feelings of fullness.
Pork shoulder, beef sirloin steak, chicken, mackerel, plums, apricots, avocados, lentils and almonds were all found to contain amino acids that activate tanycytes and therefore make people feel fuller more quickly.
Other foods on the feel-full-quicker list include turkey meat, cheese (especially parmesan), tuna and anchovies.
“Amino acid levels in blood and brain following a meal are a very important signal that imparts the sensation of feeling full,” explains Dr Nicholas Dale, Professor of Neuroscience at the university.
“Finding that tanycytes, located at the centre of the brain region that controls body weight, directly sense amino acids has very significant implications for coming up with new ways to help people to control their body weight within healthy bounds.”
The research team came across the effect after they directly added a high dosage of amino acids into the brain.
The tanycytes responded just thirty seconds later, quickly sending signals to the part of the brain that manages appetite and stimulates feelings of fullness.
The researchers hope their findings could be key in developing appetite-suppressants, which could be used to treat obesity, a growing problem in the UK.
The NHS claims that obesity is estimated to affect around one in every four adults and around one in every five children aged 10 to 11 and that figure looks set to increase further.
Scientists hope that this new understanding of how appetite functions could help to control the UK’s growing obesity crisis.
In the meantime, we know what we’re having for lunch. Chicken and avo sarnie, anyone?
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