Blood sugar researchers understand why you're always hungry

A British study has managed to explain why some people are hungry all the time. This phenomenon would be linked to the amount of glucose present in the blood two to three hours after a meal.


Blood sugar researchers understand why you're always hungry
Blood sugar researchers understand why you're always hungry


Do you eat twice as much as those around you? Don't feel guilty anymore! A British scientific study published by Nature Metabolism reveals that a sudden drop in blood sugar could affect satiety. Indeed, people who experience sharp drops in blood sugar several hours after eating would end up feeling hungrier than normal, according to the researchers.


A glycemic index that varies from one subject to another


The level of glucose in the blood, called blood sugar, remains stable in a healthy individual and will decrease after a meal, especially if it is large. We are talking about a postprandial state. It corresponds to the phase of digestion and absorption of dietary carbohydrates and lasts about 4 hours. This is when the level of glucose in the blood drops. This is postprandial blood sugar.

In order to understand why some people have a higher appetite than others, British researchers gathered 1,070 participants and analyzed their glucose levels before and after a meal. Subjects were offered classic breakfasts, based on muffins that had the same amount of calories, but varied in composition in terms of carbohydrate, protein, fat, and fiber.

Participants wore continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) to measure their blood sugar levels for the duration of the study, as well as a wearable device to monitor their activity and sleep. They also recorded their level of hunger and alertness using a phone app, as well as the exact time they ate their meals, and what they ate during the day.


The sudden drop in blood sugar promotes overweight


After analyzing the data, the team of scientists noticed that some people experienced significant "sugar drops" 2 to 4 hours after the blood sugar spike, after each meal. The glucose level thus fell rapidly before rising again.

The latter, who can be described as "big eaters", felt their hunger increase by 9% on average. They went to lunch half an hour before the others, less greedy, although they had exactly the same meals.

These good appetite participants also consumed 312 more calories throughout the day than the light eaters. This type of behavior can potentially result in a weight gain of 10 kg in a year. According to the study, this difference in metabolism could therefore be explained by a sudden drop in glucose levels within four hours of the last meal.


Appetite varies according to each individual


Responding to these findings, Dr. Sarah Berry of the King's College London Institute of Graduate Studies commented: "It has long been shown that the level of sugar in the blood plays an important role in the management of hunger, but the results of these latest studies were inconclusive. We can now say that low glucose is a better indicator of hunger and subsequent calorie intake than the initial spike in blood sugar after a meal, which changes the way we think about the relationship between blood sugar and the foods we eat. "

The blood sugar level and its variations throughout the day would therefore be the explanation of a higher appetite in some people, and more difficult to satisfy from one individual to another. To fight against this feeling of hunger, the solution would be to adapt the diet according to the metabolism, and thus reduce satiety.



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