Satiety serves as an evolutionary tool, finely tuned over millennia to help us regulate our energy intake for optimal health and vitality. However, the advent of modern food varieties, heavily processed and rich in additives, poses a challenge to these well-established cues of satiety, often leading to overconsumption.
Unlike our straightforward response to water, which we cease to drink once our thirst is quenched, the introduction of sugar or alcohol into our beverages can override this natural mechanism, tricking us into drinking more than our bodies actually need.
This issue is particularly obvious with alcohol, a caloric substance that fails to trigger an innate satiety response. To combat potential overindulgence, society has established external guidelines, such as blood alcohol concentration limits, to keep consumption in check.
This concept of external regulation is mirrored in the practice of calorie counting—an artificial guide that becomes redundant when one adheres to a diet comprising evolutionarily appropriate foods.
An intriguing aspect of our satiety response is what's often referred to as the 'Dessert Phenomenon.' Even when we reach a point of feeling full, many can surprisingly still find room for sweet treats.
This is because sugary and starchy foods have a unique ability to bypass our body's satiety signals, allowing us to indulge beyond our natural fullness threshold.
Image from FOOD FOR HEALTH
This is not the case with whole foods, which are high in protein and fat—such as eggs—that our bodies are better equipped to handle, signaling us appropriately when we've had enough.
The challenge becomes evident with heavily processed items, rich in sugar and starch, which confuse our satiety cues, a stark contrast to the clear signals sent by unprocessed, evolutionary appropriate foods.
Recognizing which modern foods disrupt our natural mechanisms is a significant step towards maintaining a healthy diet. It's crucial, now more than ever, to understand the importance of our food choices in this modern dietary sea as we strive to align our eating habits with the natural satiety signals upon which our bodies so depend!