When Bruce Springsteen recorded “Hungry Heart,” he probably didn’t know that his lyrics, “Like a river that don’t know where it’s flowing, I took a wrong turn and I just kept going,” could be used to explain the science of hunger.
You see, recently, researchers at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg demonstrated in the lab that when ghrelin, the “I’m hungry” hormone, tells you your body needs food, it can send you off on an impulsive and uncontrolled search for something to munch on --just like a river that don’t know where it’s goin’.
The Swedish study also showed that when ghrelin levels fall after eating, your brain gets clearer and rational decision-making returns. That’s why we’ve always said you shouldn’t go to the grocery store when you’re hungry or you’ll find yourself impulsively grabbing a box of cookies -- or worse! So what’s the best way to avoid that wrong turn and keep ghrelin at bay? Follow the “YOU: On a Diet” program.
To stabilize blood sugar and keep your metabolism humming, eat three small meals and three snacks a day. For snacks we like walnuts, loaded with ALA and protein, and cut up veggies and fruit. A real whole-grain treat: Dr. Mike’s energy balls and Dr. Oz’s energy bars (recipes at doctoroz.com). They’ll keep you feeling full. And did you know popcorn is a whole grain? Flavor it with chili powder, balsamic vinegar, cumin or curry. It’ll calm down your hungry heart, so you’ll know where you’re goin’.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.