By Emily Sohn, "My Big Fat Hangover,"March/April 2010
Splurging on greasy, fatty foods can rev your appetite for days afterwards, according to recent research in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
The findings—which may explain why you feel extra hungry after a weekend of eating pizza, burgers and cheesy fries—hearkens back to a time when our ancestors had to feast on fatty foods, such as meat, whenever it became available because they didn’t know when the next successful hunt would come.
In the study, researchers gave two types of fat to mice (in addition to their regular diets). One was palmitic acid, a saturated fat found in beef, butter, cheese and palm oil. The other, oleic acid, is a healthier fat common in olive oil, fish, nuts and soybeans. After three days of palmitic acid, mouse brains became resistant to the appetite-suppressing hormones leptin and insulin.
Other work in humans suggests that the same holds true for people, says lead author Deborah Clegg, Ph.D., R.D., at the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center in Dallas. Her recommendations: