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       Volume I - June 20, 2008

When It Comes to Eating Fat, LONG is Best
by Alice Osborne

Check out this natural, easy, and enjoyable way to keep your hunger in check: Eat long, liquid fats. This type of fat helps turn off hunger signals and sate your appetite, so you eat less overall. Invite a few to every meal.

The Long Way to Full

What's a long, liquid fat, you ask? John La Puma, MD, author of Chef MD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine, says these fats have lots of carbon molecules adding to their length. More importantly, they produce cholecystokinin (CCK) -- a lovely hormone that tells your brain, "You're full now. You can stop eating."

Long and Short of It

You'll find long-chain, liquid fats right where you might expect -- in the healthiest of foods. Good sources include fatty fish (salmon, trout), nuts and seeds (walnuts, flax), and plant-based foods (avocado, olive oil). You should not only eat more of these kinds of foods but also jettison the short-chain, solid fats (read saturated fats) at the same time. Why? Because not-so-healthy fats actually make you hungrier, according to La Puma.

Guacamole'd out? Try this -- avocado oil ! With a vibrant green color and subtle, nutty undertones, it's good as a bread dip, salad dressing, or as a drizzle. And not only does it rank up there with nuts and olive oil regarding omega fat content, it has a smoke point over 500 degrees Fahrenheit! So cook, grill, and stir-fry at will.

More Hunger-Nixing Notions

Naturally, we all wish we could keep our hunger in check sometimes, and lose a few extra pounds in the process. Here are a few more tricks to help with hunger control and even weight loss:

Eat breakfast -- every day—it helps fight off the munchies.

Grab a few sips of water before you hit the snack cupboard—it not only quenches thirst, it quenches the appetite.

Ditch anything with corn syrup in it--- it's absolutely everywhere, it may be making you fat as it messes with your brain and body.

Here's why: High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), used to sweeten everything from the obvious (soft drinks) to the obscure (ketchup, salad dressing, bread), can trip up digestive system hormones that control hunger and appetite. The end result: Your brain misses out on hormone messages that signal a full stomach. Start reading labels and see if you can cut back on the 63 pounds of HFCS most people consume each year.

Your digestive system has two main hormones that control hunger and appetite. Ghrelin is secreted by the stomach and increases your appetite. When your stomach's empty, it sends ghrelin out, requesting food. Leptin tells your brain that you're full. HFCS inhibits leptin secretion, so you never get the message that you're full. And HFCS never shuts off ghrelin, so even though you have food in your stomach, you constantly get the message that you're hungry.

That's the physiology behind a theory gaining a lot of ground -- the theory that our increasing consumption of HFCS is one of many elements at play in America's obesity epidemic.

Because it's cheaper than sugar, HFCS is used to sweeten many processed foods and beverages. And although manufacturers may eliminate fat from their products, they make up for its taste with sugar and HFCS. Which means that cutting down on processed foods and sweetened drinks -- even the fat-free kind -- is a good way to reduce your intake.

Try these 10 other ways to outwit your appetite:

Feed it protein for breakfast. You'll be less hungry later on and end up eating 267 fewer calories during the day. At least that's what happened on days when St. Louis University researchers gave overweight women two scrambled eggs and two slices of jelly-topped toast for breakfast rather than about half that protein.

Make it climb a flight of stairs. At home, store the most tempting foods way out of reach. For instance, Cornell University food psychologist Brian Wansink, PhD, keeps his favorite soda in a basement fridge. "Half the time I'm too lazy to run down there to get it, so I drink the water in the kitchen."

Sleep on it. People who don't get their 8 hours of ZZZs experience hormonal fluctuations that increase appetite, report researchers.

Give it something else to think about. When scientists scanned the brains of people eating different foods, they found that the brain reacts to fat in the mouth in much the same way that it responds to a pleasant aroma. So if you feel a craving coming on, apply your favorite scent.

Never let it see a heaping plate. The more food that's in front of you, the more you'll eat. So at a restaurant, ask your waiter to pack up half of your meal before serving it to you, then eat the extras for lunch the next day.

Put it under the lights. You consume fewer calories at a well-lit restaurant table than you do dining in a dark corner. "In the light, you're more self-conscious and worry that other patrons are watching what you eat," explains Wansink.

Talk! Entertaining friends with a great story doesn't give you much time to eat up, so you'll probably still have food on your plate when they're done. Once they're finished, call it quits, too.

Offer it a seat. If you sit down to snack -- and use utensils and a plate -- you'll eat fewer calories at subsequent meals.

Satisfy it with soup. Start lunch with about 130 calories worth of vegetable soup and you'll eat 20% fewer calories overall during lunch, say Penn State experts.

Give it little choice--SIMPLIFY. Packages that contain assorted varieties of cookies, candy, dips, cheese, etc., make you want to try all the flavors. The effect is so powerful, says Wansink, that when people are given 10 colors of M&Ms to munch on, not 7, they eat 30% more!

(Courtesy of

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