When it comes down to it, choosing the right foods is simpler than you may think. In fact, at the core of every healthy eating plan is generally the same advice: lots of fruits and veggies, plenty of protein, ideal portion sizes and yes—healthy fats.
Researchers in Italy recently found evidence that beneficial fats such as those found in oily fish, avocados, walnuts and olive oil may support appetite control and healthy metabolism because of their ability to positively influence the part of the brain responsible for regulating hunger.
Unhealthy fats on the other hand have the opposite effect. In a study involving rats, researchers determined that eating a meal with high amounts of saturated fats (like those in fried foods) triggers an unhealthy inflammatory response in the brain and may block the signals that tell the brain to stop eating when you are full.
“The difference was very clear and we were amazed to establish the impact of a fatty diet onto the brain,” said study author Marianna Crispino, a professor with the University of Naples Federico II. “Our results suggest that being more aware about the type of fat consumed with the diet may reduce the risk of obesity and prevent several metabolic diseases.”