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September 05, 2006

High-Protein Diet May Suppress Appetite

Science.

Eating a high-protein diet can boost the release of a hunger-suppressing hormone, according to new study on mice. The research suggests that a diet rich in protein may be a good way to lose weight and keep it off.

Mice fed a protein-heavy diet produced higher levels of an appetite-regulating protein called peptide YY (PYY), which has been linked to reduced appetite in human studies. What's more, the high-protein mice put on less fat than mice on a low-protein regime.

...

The discovery may also shed light on how the notorious Atkins diet, which ditches carbohydrates in favour of protein and saturated fats, might work. Studies have shown that people on this diet can loose weight, though it is unclear why. Batterham thinks she may have the answer: "People on the Atkins diet don't feel as hungry — that's how it works."

But, she cautions, that doesn't mean the Atkins diet is a good idea: "No medical person is going to tell you to have all that saturated fat in your diet and no carbohydrates." In its early stages, the regime causes a condition called ketosis, in which the liver, deprived of glycogen from carbohydrates, switches to its starvation mode and begins to metabolize fatty compounds. "The problem is that it makes you feel terrible," Batterham says.

I don't think it makes you feel terrible. As a matter of fact, I'm now blaming my extreme lethargy last week on going off the Atkins diet during moving week. (Kind of hard to keep carb-kosher through all that.) I began eating pizza (with the crust) and could not stop eating. As opposed to previous weeks, which were very low-carb, in which I wouldn't eat until 10pm on some days.

With carbs, I was sleepy and hungry. Without them, I'm not sleepy and not particularly hungry.

The diet doesn't work for everyone, but it does work for me.

Course, now that the craze is well over, it's almost impossible to get the foods I used to rely on, low-carb peanut butter, low-carb ice-cream, etc.

Stores are now stocking South Beach Diet cereal. Which I'd love to have -- I miss the dickens out of cereal -- but alas South Beach is higher-carb than Atkins.

If I'm going to have 20 carbs in one sitting, I won't be blowing it on corn flakes.


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posted by Ace at 05:28 PM

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