Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Food Choices: What It Takes To Feel Truly Satisfied

(NAPSI)-New research suggests that the most satisfying food choices must fulfill more than just nutritional requirements. True satisfaction from food is multidimensional, involving both physical and psychological factors.

"When making food choices, people need to think not only about what they're putting in their bodies with regard to nutrients but also how that food makes them feel, including if it satisfies their taste cravings and boosts their energy levels," said Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, author of "The F-Factor Diet," who conducted the study funded by Pharmavite, LLC.

Having counseled more than 1,000 patients about their eating habits, Zuckerbrot designed the study to measure the many factors that influence a food's perceived satisfaction. For the study, she selected four snacks with similar calorie levels and nutrient profiles: shelled edamame, low-fat wheat crackers, fruit-flavored yogurt, and a whole soy and real fruit bar (strawberry flavor). Forty-two women from New York completed daily surveys to report their overall satisfaction, general and specific cravings, and hunger levels one hour after consuming each food.

The study results indicate that satisfying hunger has both physical and psychological dimensions, and the best food choice meets both. The whole soy and real fruit bar was rated better than the wheat crackers and edamame for managing hunger and cravings. Although the foods were similar in calories and nutrients, it was not surprising to Zuckerbrot that the whole soy and real fruit bar scored well for managing hunger and cravings, due to its combination of protein, fiber and fats, which are nutrients known to be satisfying.

Additionally, one hour after eating the soy and real fruit bars, participants had less of an urge to eat again and had fewer signs of physical hunger and cravings. Participants also felt less of a need to eat something to improve their mood or feel more alert when compared to the other three test foods.

"Women want foods that taste good and make them feel good, which can mean curbing cravings and can relate to feeling good about putting that food into your body-many prefer all-natural ingredients in a food, for instance," said Zuckerbrot. "If the food doesn't do these things, women may still have the urge-even if they aren't hungry-to reach for something else."

Examples of food choices she recommends:

• Whole soy and real fruit bars, such as SOYJOY®

• High-fiber cereal mixed with granola

• Low-fat popcorn combined with dried cranberries

• Nuts and chocolate chips.

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