In our efforts to stay healthier and lose weight, we try to eat healthier, maintain a diet of good habits and eat the best we know. Sometimes, as healthy as we eat, we do not lose weight . And for greater rage, anyone who has been on a diet knows that, at times, we are very hungry. Maybe too much. And is that, according to some research, hunger may not be due to lack of food , but to the perception we have of healthy food.
Perception of healthy food
It seems a heavy joke of the universe but, apparently, we ourselves could be making it more difficult to lose weight than it really is. And all because of the perception.
According to some researches, the mere fact of believing that a food is healthy, or perceiving it as such, makes us feel less full when we eat that food. In an investigation conducted by Suher and his team, they found that people who thought they were eating healthy food – even if it was not – felt less full than people who ate the same food without believing it was healthy.
To carry out the research they gave a group of people the same cookies to eat. Half of said group was told that the cookie was healthy , since it had a lot of protein, fiber and vitamins and the other half did not. Forty-five minutes later, people who had eaten the cookie thinking it was healthy said they were hungrier than those who did not think the cookie was healthy.
These same researchers found that when they offered a group of people to eat as many popcorn as they wanted, the people they had been told were healthy popcorn ate twice as much as people who thought they were normal popcorn. This is a problem, because the perception that a food is healthy does not depend on what it really is, but on what we believe it is.
For example, people tend to underestimate the calories in a restaurant’s food if it ensures that it is a healthy restaurant , which makes them more likely to choose high-calorie foods . The difference is that they do not know they have them.
The biggest implication of this phenomenon is that if we perceive a food as healthy – whether it is or not – we will not only eat more, but we will feel less satiated. What can make our goal of losing weight much more difficult. And not only that, but it could even boycott it completely.
Another implication is that the food industry is not stupid and knows all of them. Especially as far as ultra-processed is concerned. That is why, as we have been saying, they use terms such as light, bio, natural, etc., to make us perceive their products as healthier. The reality is that the labels of the ultra-processed are not honest and we must be aware of this fact and how it can affect us when choosing a product.
The only way to avoid the bias we have is to be aware of what we eat, what kind of food it is, whether it is real or ultra-processed food and the amount that is recommended to eat. In addition, we must always pay attention to the nutritional information and ingredients of the food we eat.
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