Why fatty foods stop you feeling full
Let's face it, how many of us actually feel full and content after tucking into a burger and fries?
If you're left hungry after fast food it's not necessarily greed, as a new study has found that fatty goods can damage the stomach nerves that send signals to the brain to tell it we're full.
Researchers at the University of Georgia, Washington State University and Binghamton University state gut bacteria can be thrown off balance by an unhealthy diet, resulting in bacteria that rely on fat to multiply. The more of these there are, the less good bacteria there is to thrive on healthy food.
Experiments were carried out on rats and results noted that their brains were altered by high-fat eating habits.
"When we switch the rats to a high-fat diet, it reorganises brain circuits. The brain is changed by eating unbalanced foods. It induces inflammation in the brain regions responsible for feeding behaviour. Those reorganised circuits and inflammation may alter satiety signalling," Krzysztof Czaja, DVM, PhD, of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, explained.
He added that those who have a healthy, balanced diet don't see different bacteria overpopulate and cause unbalance. There are little shifts that have smaller effects, but the researchers noticed immediate changes as soon as they fed the rats the fatty diet.
"Some sensitive bacteria begin to die and some populations may even vanish," he added. "So introducing a significant change in the gut microenvironment triggers a cascade of events that leads to this population switch."
The team are not yet sure whether the changes are permanent, but they do recommend avoiding eating lots of processed foods. Humans used to be familiar with a natural, nutritional diet, but times have changed along with people's eating habits. It's not dangerous to treat yourself to a take away or quick stop at a burger joint every now and then, but be wary of how much you eat. Stick to normal-sized portions and refrain from eating straight after, even if your tummy is still grumbling - your stomach will feel even more agitated if it piles on weight.