In addition to providing the body with energy, foods can have different effects depending on their components. Thus, some are very satiating and effective in calming hunger while others may be causing you to eat more without you realising it.
When we eat a food, our digestive system takes it apart into little pieces that are nothing more than nutrients that our body uses and then transforms into energy.
But as the food we eat passes through the digestive tract, different hormones and substances are released that can reach the brain and influence our sense of hunger, appetite or satiety.
In this way, proteins induce the release of hormones in the gut that effectively calm appetite and hunger, with fibre having a similar effect. But other nutrients can produce the opposite effect.
With this in mind, we should be aware that some products can encourage overconsumption of food, i.e. they can make us eat more without us realising it.
Alcoholic drinks are part of this group of foods that can lead to a higher intake due to changes in the hormones that produce satiety and hunger, and the worst option are cocktails that often combine sugar and alcohol.
On the other hand, the higher the degree of food processing, the greater the addictive power of these foods, and this can be clearly seen in ultra-processed foods, which are precisely those that concentrate the most sugar, sodium, calories and fat without having satiating nutrients such as protein or fibre.
Other foods that should be avoided because they can push us to eat more are fried and salty commercial snacks or those with a lot of sugar inside, cold meats and sausages, biscuits and other industrial bakery products, soft drinks, flavoured broths or commercial concentrates because they contain monosodium glutamate, commercial sauces, chocolates with sugar, fast food preparations or ready-to-eat deep-frozen products, as well as sweets in general.
All these foods can be very pleasurable, have an addictive effect and also influence our hunger and appetite hormones, encouraging us to eat more without us realising it.