A year-long study of the dietary habits of 9,341 Australians has backed growing evidence that highly processed and refined foods are the leading contributor of rising obesity rates in the Western world.

The new study of 9,341 adults, in the latest issue of the journal Obesity conducted by the University of Sydney, was based on a national nutrition and physical activity survey undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), and further backs the ‘Protein Leverage Hypothesis’.

The Protein Leverage Hypothesis argues that people overeat fats and carbohydrates because of the body’s strong appetite for protein, which the body actively favours over everything else (because protein is essential for health and life itself). Unfortunately modern diets consist of highly processed and refined foods, generally these are low in protein. This lack of protein ensures that people are driven to consume more food until they satisfy their protein demand.

Professor David Raubenheimer said “it’s increasingly clear that our bodies eat to satisfy a protein target”. “Humans, like many other species, have a stronger appetite for protein. This is diluted by these highly refined foods that contain mostly carbohydrates and poor quality fats”.

In the study, those who consumed lower amounts of protein in their first meal of the day went on to increase their overall food intake in subsequent meals, whereas those who received the recommended amount of protein did not. In fact, they actually declined their food intake throughout the rest of the day.

My advice is to ensure you have protein with every meal along with good fats such as avocado and/or olive oil. This will balance your blood glucose levels and reduce your huger between meals and your craving for junk foods.

References: 

 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/11/221108082623.htm

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.23578

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