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Cut Your Meal to Smaller Pieces to Feel More Satiated, Study

Cut Your Meal to Smaller Pieces to Feel More Satiated, Study

(ePharmaNews) – Eating several smaller pieces of food can give a feeling of fullness, unlike eating a single piece of food that has the same amount of calories, according to a new research presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB).

Scientists note that both humans and animals depend on numbers to judge quantities of food and usually associate larger numbers with larger quantities. The brain receives a food portion cut into multiple, bite-sized pieces as more than the same portion presented as a single, large piece and therefore the multiple pieces will give a stronger feeling of fullness.

For the purpose of this study, the researchers showed that when rats were trained to associate one arm of a T-maze with a single 300 mg pellet and another with 4 (75 mg) pellets, they preferred the arm associated with the four pellets. They investigated if a portion of food in single or multiple, bite-sized pieces (both equal-calorie portions) would affect food selection and consumption in rats and humans.

When the test was repeated, this time with 30 (10 mg) pellets instead of the 4 (75 mg) pellets, the researchers found that the mice headed to the T-maze hand where the 30 pellets are faster. This shows that foods in greater numbers may be more rewarding to animals than an equicaloric, single food pellet.

As for humans, the researchers conducted a test on 301 college students who were given an 82g bagel; the first group was given an uncut bagel while the second was given a bagel cut into quarters. Twenty minutes later they were offered another meal and they were told that they can eat as much as they wanted.

Students who were given the cut bagel ate fewer calories from both the bagel and the test meal than those who received the uncut bagel. This shows that food cut into multiple pieces may be more satiating than a single, uncut portion of food.

Devina Wadhera, the lead author, suggests that “cutting up energy-dense meal foods into smaller pieces may be beneficial to dieters who wish to make their meal more satiating while also maintaining portion control.”

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Prepared by: Nessrin Biram

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