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How many times have you sat down in front of the television with a bag of chips to watch a movie or your favorite show with the intentions of only eating a few chips... and ended up eating half the bag or more? It's happened to most of us at one time or another and it probably happens more often than we like to admit. One of the problems is that when we are engaged in our favorite show, we are not really paying attention to how much we eat and end up eating way more than a normal portion size. However, a recent study suggests that fatty foods like regular potato chips and French fries set a series of biochemical processes in motion that trigger us to continue eating and as a result over indulge.
In this new study of dietary fat intake, researchers tested the impact that different meal-types had on nerve stimulation and the production of chemicals called endocannabinoids, natural marijuana-like chemicals produced in our bodies. According to the study results and an associated press release, rats who were fed a meal rich in dietary fat stimulated the production of endocannabinoids from the gut, which prompts the additional consumption of fatty foods. A similar effect was observed with the consumption of nutritionally complete meal; however, carbohydrates and proteins did not trigger the production of endocannabinoids in the gut. The researchers further reported that the process involves the nervous system since blocking a particular nerve, the vagus nerve, prevented the impact of dietary fat on endocannabinoid production. Apparently, the taste of dietary fat sends a signal to the brain and down the vagus nerve to the gut, which produces the endocannabinoids ... Continue
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