Charlyn Fargo, Contributor
Want to cut back on calories? Cut your food into smaller pieces. Researchers found that smaller pieces of food are more 'rewarding' and lead to a greater feeling of fullness than one large piece of food with equal energy values. It's a simple concept, but having that bagel sliced like bread instead of as a whole bagel may help you consume less of it - and feel more satisfied.
The research was presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior and conducted at Arizona State University. It was reported on Food Navigator. Researchers found that both people and animals found multiple pieces of food to be more filling and rewarding than a single-piece portion of food with equal calorie value.
A sample of 301 college students were given a pre-measured 82 grams of a bagel uncut or cut into quarters. Twenty minutes after eating the bagel, subjects were told that they could eat as much or as little from a complimentary test lunch. Leftovers from the bagels and lunch were measured. Students who received the single, uncut bagel ate more calories from both the bagel and the test meal than those who received the bagel cut into quarters.
The same theory was tested on rats - giving them 30 (10mg) pellets or a single 300mg food pellet. Researchers recorded which pellet serving they preferred and their speed in getting to it. Results showed that rats preferred and ran faster for the multiple pellets vs. the larger, single pellet.
The bottom line? Food in pieces may appear as more and therefore is more rewarding. It's a concept worth trying.
- Information courtesy of www.foodnavigator.com.
Ice cream vs sorbet
Q: If I switch my summertime treat from ice cream to sorbet, will that help with weight control or be more nutritious?
A: A half-cup of ice cream, which is the standard serving size listed on labels, usually contains 130 to 200 calories, but richer, high-fat types may contain up to 300 calories. Sorbet is a nonfat, non-dairy frozen dessert made with fruit puree or juice, sugar (or corn syrup or both), flavourings and a bit of pectin or other thickener.
Calories are typically 110 to 140 in that half-cup serving. So it's substantially lower in calories than rich ice cream, but not necessarily a lower-calorie alternative to lighter versions of ice cream.
Each half-cup serving contains five to nine teaspoons of sugar, which includes both the natural sugar in fruit and added sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. Even when it's made with berries or other fruits high in nutrients like vitamin C, sorbet is not necessarily a good source of those nutrients.
Bottom line: The single biggest way to reduce the impact of frozen desserts on your weight is portion control. Sorbet is a refreshing treats but, for nutrition impact, top a small portion of whatever you choose with a half-cup of unsweetened fruit. You can also make a major impact by switching from ice cream as a nightly necessity to a weekly treat.
(Information courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research.)
Charlyn Fargo is a registered dietitian at Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists; website at www.creators.com.