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The Battle of Macronutrients Part Duex

The Battle of Macronutrients Part Duex

Gregory Susinger RD

The Battle of Macronutrients Part Duex
Written by: Gregory Susinger


We started a long debated topic last month on macronutrients, which are the scapegoat for your health woes. I left off our discussion with several points that are worth exploring further: Appetite stimulation and suppression, hormonal responses to macronutrients, and factors influencing meal termination. So let’s dive in now.

Appetite stimulation and suppression is a heavily studied area of research and for obvious reasons. As one of the key proponents in behavior, it will dramatically affect one’s ability to meet their goals, or in the nutrition market, help create a large demand for consumable items. Looking at carbohydrates, the main mechanism that triggers appetite is an interrelation between insulin and blood glucose. Carbohydrates will ultimately be converted to glucose and transported through the bloodstream. It’s concentration is highly regulated as levels too low or high will cause serious side effects. When levels decrease, the appetite will increase and conversely when levels elevate the appetite will be suppressed. The challenge, however, is that as you consume more carbohydrates, insulin will be released and depending on the rate of consumption insulin may overshoot the carbohydrate concentration. This can create a yoyo effect of hunger, brief satiety followed with rebounded hunger.

This is a strong proponent behind the no or low carbohydrate camp. As insulin secretion is very sensitive to carbohydrate intake, insulin’s main mechanism is to store nutrients in fat and muscle cells. A hormone that has been linked to satiety is Cholecystokinin (CCK). CCK is released by the pancreas (as is insulin) and also has an effect on satiety. It is released in proportion to protein and fat intake. Unlike insulin, its main mechanism stimulates the production of enzymes to break down fat and protein intake. Once the items are free floating they will be absorbed (also via insulin mechanism), but the synergistic effects of satiety are longer lasting and can enhance the feeling of fullness for a longer duration.   

Some of the discussions presented today would argue to the benefits of modest fat and protein intake as they create longer levels of satiation while moderating the intake of insulin. If you took the opportunity to view the sidelink you will have discovered a couple other mechanisms related to the satiation principles related with higher fat intakes related to weight loss. Fun information and certainly worth noting for those interested in weight loss.

Until next month.