EAT WHOLE, NATURAL FOODS AND AVOID PROCESSED, HIGH SATURATED FAT FOODS ALL TOGETHER…AND EAT MEAT AND HIGH FAT DAIRY PRODUCTS IN MODERATION….
(From Scientific American article) Researchers have long known that the hormones leptin and insulin play key roles in appetite and food intake. In healthy people leptin, which is secreted by fat tissue, acts as a molecular measuring tape for our waistlines, quashing feelings of hunger. Insulin spikes when the pancreas gets a whiff of the blood sugar increase after a meal; once the brain detects the spike, it knows to tamp down the desire for food.
Certain foods and metabolic disorders, however, can disrupt our ability to respond appropriately to these hormonal signals. In a study published in the September issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation, scientists report unraveling a central biochemical mechanism behind fat’s effect on the mammalian brain . They found that after only three days on a diet high in saturated fat—a common ingredient in beef and cheese—the brains of rats and mice became resistant to leptin and insulin. In contrast, unsaturated fats, such as those found in olive oil, did not trigger resistance.
As a result of the hormone resistance, a meal high in saturated fat can crank up our appetite well after dessert. “Taking time off from a healthy diet to eat most fast foods may have consequences that last for some days, even after one resumes the healthy diet,” says University of Cincinnati behavioral neuroscientist Stephen Benoit, who led the study. He believes the findings are likely to apply to humans, too.
Sensing leptin and insulin is like keeping an eye on the body’s nutrient status, says Gary Schwartz, a neuroscientist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, who was not involved in the research. “If that eye starts to go blind because you keep giving it too much nutrient, then it can’t respond. It can’t tell you, ‘look, don’t eat.'” The result can spark a vicious cycle of metabolic problems and weight gain, he remarks.