The feeling of hunger and satiety - the facts
What nutrients does your body need and how do you affect the feeling of hunger and satiety? To understand how our feeling of hunger and satiety works at all, we first have to get to know the nutrients. Proteins, carbohydrates and fats are among the macronutrients because they make up most of our food and are the largest energy suppliers. Micronutrients, on the other hand, are vitamins and minerals that our metabolism needs to work. Our body needs all of these important substances in sufficient quantities so that the metabolism works optimally and less hungry occurs. If there is a lack of one of the indispensable (essential) substances, the body switches to hunger as long as there was enough of the missing. The optimal supply of our body with nutrients is therefore essential for our feeling of hunger and satiety.
Carbohydrates consist of sugar molecules. Depending on how many sugar molecules are connected, one speaks of simple sugar (monosaccharides), double sugar (disaccharides) or multiple sugar (polysaccharides).A simple sugar is a single sugar molecule such as glucose, fructose or galactose. When two simple sugar is connected, a double sugar such as the household sugar (sucrose) and milk sugar (lactose) are created. The variety of carbohydrates is very large. Strength made of rice or potatoes consists of a large number of glucosemolecules and is a very long carbohydrate. During digestion, the carbohydrates are separated into their individual sugar modules so that they can be absorbed into the blood. The longer a carbohydrate molecule, the longer it takes for it to be broken down by the digestive enzymes into its individual parts. That is why glucose or sucrose go into the blood very quickly. However, more complex carbohydrates from starchy foods such as rice, on the other hand, are broken down and the energy is gradually provided.How quickly carbohydrates are split up and the simple sugar glucose gets into the blood, plays a major role in the release of insulin (we will go into it later). However, there are also carbohydrates that our digestive system cannot split, these are fiber. They get undigested into the large intestine and ensure a good consistency of the bowel movement. Sometimes bacteria can split up and feed on the indigestible carbohydrates, which is why fiber has an important meaning for a healthy intestinal flora.
Proteins are composed of several individual parts, such as carbohydrates. These single modules are amino acids here, which are broken down into their individual building blocks during digestion as well as carbohydrates. After disassembly, the individual amino acids are included in the cells. Our body needs different amino acids in different quantities. If we absorb proteins from meat, fish, eggs or protein -rich vegetables, it is therefore particularly important to our body which amino acids are in it. Protein sources are more valuable the better they meet the body's needs. Some amino acids can convert the body into each other itself. Others are not, these are the 8 essential amino acids that we have to supply our body through food. Our body needs proteins for preservation and its structure.
Among the fats there are unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids that have special tasks in the body. For example, Omega 3 fatty acids contribute to a healthy brain and good eyesight and can have a positive effect on the blood lipid levels. Our body cannot produce these unsaturated omega 3 fatty acids themselves, they have to be absorbed. Unsaturated fatty acids can be compared with vitamins because our metabolism needs it to work. However, unsaturated fatty acids are quite unstable and should not be heated too much when cooking.
How do I recognize where saturated and unsaturated fats are in?
The more unsaturated fatty acids contain food, the more fluid they are in cold. For example, cold water fish contain many unsaturated omega 3 fatty acids so that they also remain mobile in the cold. If you had unsaturated fatty acids in your cell membranes, you would be rigid.
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and minerals are essential tools that enzymes need to do their work. Vitamins play a role in the recycling of fats, carbohydrates and proteins, because they ensure that these substances are also correctly broken down or converted.
Each vitamin has a unique function at a certain point in the complex system of our metabolism. If one of these important tools is missing, what is colloquially referred to as "the metabolism falls asleep". Work steps then no longer take place at the right speed. Some vitamins are not involved in metabolic processes, but important for building certain body structures - bones, teeth and all of our cells.
How does hunger arise and what do the nutrients have to do with it?
Hunger arises in our brain, in the hypothalamus, an area of the intermediate brain. The signals "hunger" or "full" are forwarded via hormones and nerve pathways. Others signal when a nutrient is missing.
As soon as the body's reserves slowly go out, stomach cells produce the appetizing Ghrelin, for example. This is the strongest hunger hormone, but at the same time it also slows down the metabolism by falling a little and you have less desire to move. After all, the body does not know when it gets something to eat again. After the meal, the body checks whether the stomach is really filled with the right one and it can put all the signals on "full", only then does the Ghrelin concentration sink. Special sensory cells in the stomach measure how strongly the stomach wall stretches. In the intestine, on the other hand, receptors check whether the right nutrients also arrive. Only if all of this is correct can the brain finally switch to "full". A large portion of vegetables delivers many vitamins and minerals and also a lot of volume, but this is not enough. Your meal must also contain high -quality protein sources and important fatty acids. Only then does the meal provide the right combination of volume and nutritional value and your body puts the signals on "full".
What influences the feeling of hunger and satiety?
As soon as carbohydrates are split into their individual parts and the simple sugar glucose gets into the blood, the pancreas releases insulin. This hormone ensures that both glucose and amino acids can be brought into the cells. When these were delivered in the cell, the insulin and blood sugar levels drop again. If the blood sugar level drops, hunger arises again. If a lot of glucose gets into the blood at once, a lot of insulin is released, which means that the blood sugar level sinks very quickly and hunger arises again. If sugar is now constantly delivered, we are in a constant up and down. The insulin level literally runs roller coaster. We fall from one concentration hole to the next and save and from it again with a quick snack.Not only carbohydrates increase insulin levels, proteins or amino acids also promote insulin release. If amino acids are absorbed, the glucagon level also increases with the insulin level. The hormone glucagon is in terms of fat burning of the opponent of the insulin. While insulin is in the way of burning fat, Glukagon drives it. The mixture of glucagon and insulin, which is released after a moderate amount of protein, is ideal for good saturation and active fat burning. However, if too much protein is absorbed and a lot of amino acids get into the blood, some of the amino acids are converted into glucose. As a result, the blood sugar level increases as if you had eaten carbohydrates. So it depends on the right amount of protein.
Tips for supporting the balanced hunger and satiety feeling
- Eat a maximum of 3 times a day (no snacks)
- Take 4-6 hours of break between meals
- Avoid quick carbohydrates (sweets, white flour)
- Eat a portion of protein for every meal
- There should always be a large portion of vegetables on your plate
- Give multiple fats over your vegetables after cooking (e.g. olive oil, algae oil)
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