- It was thought that humans are unaware of the energy content of the foods they eat, and therefore, they are thought to have a tendency to eat the same amount of food by weight, regardless of its energy density.
- However, a new study finds that humans may have more nutritional intelligence than previously thought.
- Research shows that in a real world environment, people have reached a point where they limit the food they eat according to Calories it contains.
In daily life, we are surrounded by high-fat, palatable and well-promoted foods that make it easy for people to exceed their energy expenditure, Contributes to weight gain and obesity.
Until now, it is generally accepted that people have a file
A new study by researchers at the University of Bristol suggests that humans unconsciously limit the size of their meals according to the calorie content of a food.
Researchers say this stems from inherent nutritional wisdom or nutritional intelligence, or people’s ability to respond to the nutritional content of the food they eat or plan to eat.
The study was published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Talking to medical news today, Dr. Jeff BronstromThe professor of experimental psychology and one of the study’s authors, explained that the traditional way of looking at dietary behavior is to “eat and then manipulate it.” The researchers then add extra calories or protein to the food and study the participants’ response to see if there is any change, he said.
In the current study, researchers
The researchers also included “free-living” participants taking part in the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey in their study. They recorded all the foods and drinks the participants ate through the 7-day diet diary.
In total, the researchers analyzed 32,162 meals after excluding snacks (4 kcal/g). The researchers recorded the calorie content, grams, and energy density (kcal/g) for all meals.
The researchers used a two-component model for serving size. They used size as the main signal in energy-deficient foods and calorie content as the main signal in energy-dense foods.
Talking to MNTlead author of the study Annika FlynnA PhD researcher in Nutrition and Behavior described a “point of no return” where “as meals became more energy-dense, the calorie content of those meals began to decrease.”
According to Flynn, this means that “people actually adjusted the amount of food they put on their plate in response to the energy density of the meal they were going to consume,” suggesting that people are sensitive to the content of the meals they were eating.
The implications for our understanding of appetite and nutrition are far-reaching […] We may fundamentally misunderstand the nature of obesity. Rather than mindlessly consuming calories, perhaps there are some aspects of the modern food environment that compel nutritionally intelligent individuals to consume a lot of food.”
“[This study] It challenges the long-held assumption that humans possess some kind of primal, uninterrupted craving for calories. Rather, it appears that we have an intrinsic ability to measure the caloric density of a food as we consume it and to unconsciously assess how much we should be eating.”
– Mark Schatzker
When asked if she would expect to see the same behavior in people who are overweight, Flynn said their paper did not take this range into account.
However, Flynn said they factored in individual variance using analysis that focuses on the mean for “[..] Try to address the fact that a larger person may eat a larger meal than a smaller person.”
The study is still in its early stages. The next steps, according to Flynn, are to study individual differences, to see which groups and individuals show different degrees of food allergy.
The research adds to our understanding of nutritional intelligence and how it is changing; However, according to Dr. Bronstrom, “We’re kind of scratching the surface here.”
He said that refocusing the narrative around a “more complex interaction” in humans with regard to differentiating between calories may be helpful.
“[We need to think about] Where does this ability to distinguish calories come from – is it something innate, is it something that is learned on a personal level or is it something that takes shape as part of a collective form of learning that takes place within and across generations, [forming] Part of our communal kitchen or communal dining practice? “
Dr. Jeff Bronstrom
Dr Bronstrom added: “All of these are great questions and we probably want to explore them in different ways.”
The main message of this study is that, at some level, humans may be able to self-regulate their calorie intake and naturally adjust portion sizes to reduce the negative effects of overeating.