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Eat Umami, Eat Less

The following are excerpts (direct quotes, without modification) from the article, “Eat Umami, Eat Less,” written by Alexandra Sifferlin and appearing in Time Magazine:

“If you’re feeling unsatisfied after a meal, perhaps it wasn’t flavorful enough. A new study suggests that the taste umami may actually make you feel more full and satisfied…. “For a quick dash of umami, cooks have turned to monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer that’s added to soups and other foods. Now a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that MSG can make food more appetizing and therefore help diners feel more full.”

“The researchers asked 27 participants to eat the same breakfast, then some ate a high-protein soup with an MSG-enzyme combination while other had soup without the pairing. Everyone then sat down for an identical lunch, and the scientists tracked how much the volunteers ate as well as asked them questions about their appetite and how full they felt. The diners who ate the MSG-laced soup consumed less of their lunch, but still say they felt satisfied, suggesting that umami may have a role in regulating eating.”

Umami Flavor Promotes Feelings of Fullness, Could Help to Curb Appetite

This research also was summarized in the article, “Umami Flavor Promotes Feelings Of Fullness, Could Help To Curb Appetite,” written by Chris Weiller and appearing in Medical Daily. The following are excerpts from the article:

 Umami and appetite

“The hearty, elusive flavor of umami may be as full as it gets you. A new study released by University of Sussex researchers shows food with umami flavors tend to reduce people’s appetite without cutting their satisfaction with the meal.

“Obesity is a well-worn epidemic in the U.S., and any strategy worth its salt at improving eating habits should be taken seriously. The new research suggests the popular flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate, or MSG, as it’s more often known, adds depth to soup and actually makes it feel heartier. For the more than one-third of adults who are currently obese, the findings could help motivate smarter eating habits with little effort.

“Monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been shown to increase satiety when combined with protein,” the researchers wrote. For the latest study they wanted to find out how MSG could affect satiety, or feelings of fullness, when it came to foods that also featured prominent amounts of carbohydrates. They tested people’s reaction to soup.”

Thus, umami-rich food is a healthy food in a sense that we can stop eating within a physiological range with a feeling of satiety and satisfaction.

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