My binge food is ice cream. Rich, sweet, it hits my blood sugar like a blast. Nothing like getting drunk on ice cold butter fat to improve my mood. For years doctors told us it was the sensation of creamy in our mouths that caused us to like fat. Fat holds us and keeps us satiated longer. But now thee is proof that there is direct link between why we want fat stuff when we are sad. Instead of say celery sticks.
Another study this week that says that fatty, creamy (oh-so-hard-on-the-hips food) really can help lift our moods — but contrary to what you might think, it’s not the “mouth feel” or the way the food looks that does it; it’s the fat itself hitting out stomachs.
For the experiment, conducted at the University of Manchester, 12 healthy men and women were put on 12-hour fasts and then given direct infusions into their stomachs of either a saltwater saline solution or fatty acid solution. The participants couldn’t taste the solutions and weren’t told which one they had received.
During four days of experiments, the participants underwent 40-minute fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) neurologic scans in which they listened to either sad or neutral music while viewing images of sad or neutral faces.
They were then given the solutions and asked questions about their mood, as well as about their feelings of fullness or hunger.
The participants reported more hunger while listening and viewing sad emotions, and less hunger during neutral emotion conditions.
As well, those who got the fatty acid solution reported feeling about half as sad as those who received the saline infusion. The fMRI results also showed that their behavioral and nerve cell responses to sad emotions were also lessened.
Any woman will tell you that food makes you feel better. The trick is how to eliminate the cravings when you are feeling down so your butt doesn’t become two axe handles wide. Now that is research I would pay for.