There's also the theory that fat satiates you, so it can help you eat less. This one tends to make more sense to me. Until now, the idea was that it takes longer to digest fat, therefore it keeps your tummy full longer. But there's a problem with this explanation: it's nuthin' but common sense - and that's no fun! What's the point of taking nutritional advice just because it's right? We need science! We need research! We need studies!
Well, I got your study right here. Scientists in Australia have thrown down some research in the latest issue of the journal Diabetes suggesting why fat is a valuable appetite suppressant. To my surprise, it has nothing to do with the stomach. It's all about the liver, baby.
Liver fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase is an enzyme associated with the production of glucose. Folks call it FPBase for short, but I think whoever named it was damn inconsiderate in assuming that all you need to do when you name an enzyme is slap an "ase" at the end of a string of words. It's the scientist equivalent of those celebrities who name their kids "Smoke" or "Car Door" of whatever.
Anyway, FPBase, as it turns out, plays another role. When the Aussies fed mice a high-fat diet, the enzyme kicked hormones in gear that suppressed appetite. Cool, huh?
Unfortunately, I don't know if this little tidbit will do much good 'round these parts. We've done an impressive job of nutritionally overriding silly little "hormones" and "enzymes" - not to mention "logic" with our Standard American Diet (SAD). I'm certain that some people will read about this study and add 500 calories of fat to their shitty 4000-calorie diet, thinking that will somehow induce weight loss. The trick is to add this bit o' knowledge to your nutritional scrapbook with the understanding that when you eat healthy, this is one of the things that'll help your maintain your weight.