- Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) can act as healthy appetite suppressants
- They cause certain hormonal changes that help in better appetite control
- Walnuts, salmon and canola oil are some foods rich in PUFAs
Polyunsaturated fat is a type of dietary fat and is popularly known as the 'good' fat. Fats are one of the major food groups that are a part of a balanced diet. They are required for healthy living and also help in healthy weight loss. According to Macrobiotic Nutritionist, Shilpa Arora, "The fats you eat make up the majority of your cell walls, so a low fat or a no fat diet makes your cell wall inflexible and it becomes extremely difficult for nutrients to pass through and feed your cells. Stiff cell walls also mean that cells can become less responsive to messages from your hormones and other important molecules."
The new study shows that consuming foods rich in polyunsaturated fats causes a significant decrease in a hormone called ghrelin that is known to increase hunger. People who regularly consume foods rich in polyunsaturated fats such as walnuts, salmon and canola oil are likely to experience hormonal changes that can control their appetite and make them feel less hungry. Moreover, a PUFA-rich diet may also help in increasing peptide YY (PYY) - a hormone that invokes the feeling fullness or satiety.
For the study, the team enrolled 26 healthy men and women between the age of 18 and 35 years. They were divided into two groups - one followed a seven-day diet high in PUFAs and the other was put on a control diet consisting of a typical American eating pattern. The PUFA-rich diet included whole foods such as walnuts, Alaska salmon, tuna, flaxseed oil, grape-seed oil, canola oil, and fish oil supplements. The control diet comprised of 7% polyunsaturated fat, 15% monounsaturated fat and 13% saturated fat, compared to the PUFA-rich diet which was made up of 21% polyunsaturated fat, 9% monounsaturated fat, and 5% saturated fat. All the meals were provided by the research team.
Inputs from IANS