Next in the Weight-Loss Arsenal: Food That Sits in Your Stomach Twice as Long

By Allison Bond | June 4, 2009 4:45 pm

fatA 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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Image: flickr / dotbenjamin

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Food, Nutrition, & More Food
MORE ABOUT: food, obesity, weight loss
  • Jen

    We’ve already got this readily available. It’s called “fiber,” and it works wonders for your general health.

  • Dr. Kate

    Plus, it assumes that the only reason people eat (or eat too much) is because they’re hungry. I suspect that many (most?) people who overeat do so for reasons other than physical hunger.

  • Alex Quintana

    Ok. We know processed food = a major culprit in obesity. So you’re trying to come up with “healthy” reasons to eat more of it? Well not “you” but them.

    This is just another way to scam money promoting a “hey, I can get skinny without lifting a finger” super convenient easy weight loss solution that doesn’t work long-term (if at all).

    Two problems with that:

    1. being skinny is bad
    2. weight loss is easy. it’s called CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE. Listen to nutritionists, not what you see on TV. and BE HAPPY when you get healthy. What you see on TV is NOT HEALTHY and NOT THE SOLE DEFINITION OF BEAUTIFUL. All this stuff that you think tastes like cardboard now, when your tastebuds stop being accostomed to an onslought overkill of spices, salt, additives, false flavors, etc. the natural stuff will stop tasting like cardboard.

    Also here’s a revelation: Exercise makes you feel good! makes you healthy.. keeps you healthy.. Eating right will prevent diseases like cancer, etc.

    The TV has so many people completely blind to the truth.

  • Suzyn

    Amen, Alex.
    Processed food is evil anyway, and no amount of “modifying” an already modified product is going to change its impact on the human body: inflammation leading to cancers and chronic conditions, weight gain (it’s pretty obvious that even the “light” processed foods haven’t helped us, people are more overweight than ever).
    THE way to go is natural, whole foods, exercising, relearning your body’s hunger and satiety signals… let’s face it, the diet industry has a vested interest in keeping us fat, so it only makes sense they’d be looking for yet another angle that they expect us to buy, hook line and sinker.

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  • Pat | Acai Berry Weight Loss

    Can you provide more information on this? I have been searching high and low, trying to get some really solid details. Thanks!

    Read about acai berry weight loss pills.

  • Rodysh

    The general rate of succeeder of these weight loss curricula which are forever competing with each other is more or less the one. And the most ironic part is that these programmes all expire at the one vault in wound of doing really tall necessitates. This bechances because the body gets accustomed to the rigorousness through which it is invest and alines itself to the new routine and the metabolic process slows down. You have to be brainier than nature to be able to trick the body into mislaying weight. Without coming this measure then you will invariably inquire why you cannot lose weight.

  • Will

    This is why I only eat fresh fruits and vegetables and prepare my own food rather than get it from a can. There’s no telling how long these additives remain within the body and their long term effects.

  • Drew Shrout

    I believe that avoiding processed foods is the first step in order to lose weight. They might taste great, but refined foods have very little nutritional value, making you take more only to have enough electricity to get through the day. For anyone who is constantly taking in these foods, converting to cereals and other complex carbohydrates will aid you to have more electricity while consuming less. Great blog post.


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