fatty acids (PUFA) are good fats which possess numerous health benefits.
Vegetable oils, seeds, nuts and sea food are rich in
- Early adults aged between 18 - 35 experienced changes in
appetite hormones associated with hunger and satiety after following a PUFA-rich diet.
- Foods which
reduce hunger or increase satiety influenced by hormones could
ultimately play a role in achieving optimal body weight.
Hunger is the stomach's way of telling the brain that we need
food. Excessive hunger makes us pounce on any kind of food that is within
But the way we eat, and what we eat influences the satisfaction of
hunger. Although junk food subsides our hunger, it deprives us of satiety, and
we tend to overeat.
‘A PUFA-rich diet mainly composed of walnuts, seeds, vegetable oils and sea food, consumed for 7 days, favorably altered fasting and postprandial physiological markers of hunger and satiety.’
On the other hand, polyunsaturated fats
, present in walnuts, salmon
and canola oil may bring about favorable changes in appetite hormones
associated with hunger and satiety.
Influences Hunger Hormones and Satiety
of fat provides 9kcal and is more satiating than proteins or carbs. But
fat-rich foods can sometimes mislead us into overeating as they tend to be more
palatable. Choosing between the good fats that provide energy to the body, as well as make the body feel full can help in weight loss and
plays a role in weight management when the effect of the food is exhibited on the hormones that regulate hunger and satiety. Appetite
the feeling of hunger and satiety -- and the feeling of fullness after we eat
are influenced by two main hormones, leptin and ghrelin.
hormones play an important role in regulating how much we eat," said lead
researcher, Jamie A. Cooper, PhD of the University of Georgia.
Rich in PUFA
can be found mostly in nuts, seeds, fish, seed oils, and oysters. The types of PUFA present in these are omega-3
Foods containing omega-6 fatty acids are eggs, whole grain foods, nuts, pumpkin seeds, flax
seed, pine nuts, walnuts, oils of corn, avocado, olive, safflower, canola,
Fish, tuna, salmon, fish oils, sea food like oyster
are rich in omega-3-fats.
Hormone Changes after a PUFA-rich Meal
study conducted among 26 healthy men and women (aged 18-35) looked at
physiological hunger and satiety responses by measuring hormone changes. Subjective
ratings, by asking participants to indicate on a scale how hungry or full they
were and how much they thought they could eat, were also assessed.
subjects were either on a seven-day diet high in PUFAs or a control diet
consisting of a typical American eating pattern, high in saturated fat.
PUFA-rich diet and the typical American diet had the same number, percentage of
calories derived from fat but differed in the types of fat included.
control diet comprised 7% polyunsaturated fat, 15% monounsaturated fat and 13%
saturated fat, while the PUFA-rich diet had 21% polyunsaturated fat, 9%
monounsaturated fat and 5% saturated fat.
meals were provided by the researchers. After the seven-day diet, participants
consumed test meals high in saturated fat, once again.
Alaska salmon, tuna, flaxseed oil, grapeseed oil, canola oil, and fish oil
supplements were part of the PUFA-rich diet.
primarily comprise PUFAs, with 13gms of PUFA out of 18 grams of total fat per
one ounce serving. As a result, walnut is the only nut to contain a significant
amount of plant-based omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (2.5 grams per one
Dietary Guidelines for Americans has recommended the substitution of PUFA with
saturated fats owing to the range of health benefits offered by the PUFAs.
recent study finds that the PUFA-rich diet
- Lowered fasting ghrelin levels, a
hormone that increases hunger.
- Increased peptide YY (PYY) a
hormone that increases fullness or satiety while fasting and after consuming a
- These types of hormone changes imply better appetite
control and facilitates weight control by controlling overeating.
were no changes in the subjective ratings - the sensations of hunger and
fullness in either the PUFA-rich diet or the control diet.
findings tell us that eating foods rich in PUFAs, like those found in walnuts,
may favorably change appetite hormones so that we can feel fuller for longer,"
said Dr. Cooper.
to clarify the results, larger and longer-term studies, as well as studies in
diverse populations, are needed.
results of the study could be attributed to one specific type of PUFA, food
source, or a combination of overall dietary factors. It is difficult to discern
the changes in the context of a whole food diet. More clinical trials are
needed to determine the optimal intake of dietary PUFAs to offer the greatest
- Stevenson JL, Paton CM,
Cooper JA. Hunger and satiety responses to high-fat meals after high
polyunsaturated fat diet: a randomized trial. Nutrition. DOI: