High protein diets are not a new phenomenon. These regiments promote eating large amounts of high protein foods and smaller amounts of low carbohydrate foods. But few people understand why they felt more satisfied and were eating less. Now, researchers may have the key to understanding this eating phenomenon.
High Protein Messages to the Brain
In an article in the journal Cell, investigators have revealed that receptors blocked by the consumption of high protein foods may send the brain feelings of satisfaction and reduce a person’s appetite. These chemicals are called mu-opioid receptors (MORs) and are similar to nerve receptors that bind morphine in the brain. The nerves the affected are found in the portal vein, which is the primary blood vessel that provides blood circulation to the gut and digestive system. When these nerve receptors are stimulated, appetite increases, driving the impulse to eat. However, when they are blocked, the impulse to eat is curbed and appetite reduces in intensity.
Peptides, which are the product of digested foods high in protein, are the active chemicals that trigger the MORs to be blocked. As a result, when you eat foods such as meat, fish and dairy, which are high in protein, you may feel satisfied more quickly than if you eat foods high in carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta.
Understanding the effects of consumption of specific foods can help you take control of your eating habits to make healthy lifestyle choices. For individuals who are interested in losing weight, eating a diet rich in lower fat, high protein foods may stimulate weight loss. Choose healthy foods such as skinless poultry, fish and protein rich cottage cheese and Greek yogurt for foods with the highest amount of protein but lower levels of fat. Maintaining a healthy weight through good food choices can help prevent diabetes, improve cardiovascular health and reduce the chances of developing illnesses such as colon cancer.
– The Alternative Daily