A recent development in food science may offer solace for dieters who are fed up, so to speak, with the tried-and-true “eat-less, move-more” mantra: Scientists say that modifying a common food additive makes food take longer to leave the body, literally keeping you full for twice as long.
Most processed foods contain emulsifiers and stabilizers, which enhance texture and prevent ingredients from separating. Scientists say that adding a type of stabilizer that is more chemically stable keeps food in the body for a longer period of time—about twice as long—because it makes food harder to break down.
The theory is based on a recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition. After an hour, subjects who consumed a coffee-flavored milkshake made of a harder-to-digest stabilizer had twice as much food left in their stomachs as those who consumed an easier-to-digest stabilizer. Those who ate the additive that was harder to break down also reported that they felt fuller after the meal, the study says.
Adding harder-to-digest stabilizers to food could mean consumers would go twice as long after meals before hunger pains strike, allowing them to eat less throughout the day. But in the quest to lose weight, it seems that the actual nutrition of food has lost its importance. Sure, eating a cream puff that stays longer in the stomach might help in some sense, but it’s still no substitute for an apple or a handful of almonds.
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