Sometimes when I am studying for exam, I do a post about whatever it is I am learning. Yesterday, I had my last midterm in GI Physiology and the topics ranged from anatomy from the mouth to the small intestine, salivation, swallowing, digestion, and regulation of each, as well as gastritis, GERD, and a few other disorders. The most functional information I learned was
how to stay full for longer!
So, as you probably know, you ingest food through the mouth, it goes down the esophagus, into your stomach, is digested, and then is emptied into the small intestines for absorption. The duodenum is the first portion of the small intestines and has the crazy capacity to sense the pH, tonicity, fat content, macronutrient content, and nutrient density of the ingested food.
For food to be emptied out of the stomach, the particles must be about 1 mm in diameter to get through the pyloric sphincter. This wont occur until it has been broken down by stomach muscle contractions and enzymes. The length of time that it takes to break the food down is increased by:
- Larger food particles
- Harder to break down food
- Increased size of meal
- Higher fat content
- Solid meals rather than liquids. Liquids do not have a break down phase at all, they immediately start emptying from the stomach.
There are some things we we eat that we cant break down at all, like the fiber in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This fiber doesn’t empty out with the rest of the meal, it stays in the stomach until everything else has been cleared. It is then cleared out during Phase 3 of the Migrating Motility Complex (basically the peristalsis that goes on when you are fasting in order to get things movin’).
Furthermore gastric emptying is slowed by:
- Higher calorie content of the meal. There is a MAX of 200 calories per hour for both solid and liquid meals. That rate can be reduced due to the…
- Macronutrient content of the meal. Fats empty the slowest, then protein, and carbs are the fastest.
Liquid emptying is a bit weird. It does not have a lag phase where it is digested at all, it just starts emptying out as soon as it gets into the stomach. Furthermore, the rate is proportional to the volume. So if you drink MORE it actually empties FASTER. Isotonic liquids (like water) empty faster than hypertonic liquids (lots of solutes).
So, if you want to stay fuller longer, you can:
- Eat more fat! This is the biggie. The duodenum is very sensitive to fat content of meals.
- Eat solid meals rather than smoothies, etc.
- Get yer protein into each meal.
- Fiber, fiber, fiber! The fiber in veggies and fruits and whole grains will chill in your stomach for longer than anything else.
- Snack less and eat larger meals. (This is more of a lifestyle choice and not a big deal if you don’t prefer it.)
- Drink liquids before or after meals rather than during.
- Eat nutrient dense foods! This wasn’t covered in detail, but one of the lectures implied that the upper stomach holds onto nutrient dense foods longer before letting it drop down into the lower stomach for digestion.
With all that in mind, I figured I should post a recipe that is the epitome of a filling meal. Vegetarians are going to hate me but um…. here ya go!
Recipe: Serves 3
inspired by this recipe
- 1 lb extra lean ground beef (or you can use ground buffalo, chicken, or turkey)
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
- for the sauce
- 1 can tomato paste
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheese (I used Mexican blend)
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 sweet onion, diced
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine the meat, cheese, and egg and mix well. Spread the mixture over a baking sheet and press until thin. Bake for 15 minutes.
While the “crust” is baking, combine the pizza sauce ingredients and adjust the herbs to your preference. Once the crust is done, pat with a paper towel to absorb some grease. Evenly spread the sauce over the top of the crust. Top with the cheese, bell pepper, and onion. Bake for 5 more minutes and then broil until the tips of the veggies are browned, just a couple minutes.
PS – I went to CrossFit again on Thursday night. I tink I’m in loveee.
Mmmkay, I believe it is time for a Lagunitas IPA. Later, gator.