May 3, 2011 1 Comment
So, in addition to hanging out more with skinny people, I think I’ll be adding cayenne pepper and pureed vegetables to the mix. Seriously:
For the research, published in the journal Physiology & Behavior, scientists at Purdue studied the effect of just half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper on a group of 25 diners…
The effect was greater among diners who didn’t regularly consume spicy meals. Among that group, adding red pepper to the soup was associated with eating an average of 60 fewer calories at the next meal compared with when they ate plain soup. For both groups who ate red pepper in food, the spice also appeared to increase the metabolism and cause the body to burn an extra 10 calories on its own.
And the veggies:
Dieters may get better results by adding puréed vegetables to some of their favorite dishes, according to a February report in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In that study, researchers from Penn State gave 20 men and 21 women casseroles made with varying amounts of purée — a strategy popularized by the cookbook author Jessica Seinfeld, who has encouraged parents to sneak vegetables into foods like spaghetti.
But in the Penn State study, the goal wasn’t to trick people into eating vegetables. Adding the purée bulked up the dish and resulted in fewer calories per serving. (You can see two of the recipes developed by the researchers here.)
In a macaroni and cheese recipe from the researchers, for instance, the cheese sauce is made with skim milk, reduced-fat cheese and one cup each of puréed cauliflower and puréed summer squash.
The diners were fed the casseroles during different visits. They ate pretty much the same amount of food during each visit and reported no differences in flavor or enjoyment. But when they were served the casseroles made with puréed vegetables, they ate 200 to 350 fewer calories a meal.
That’s a huge reduction in calories. And with no noticeable difference in flavor?! I’m sold. Of course, I don’t actually eat mac and cheese, but I’m plenty open to sneaking pureed veggies into foods I do like (now, pizza would be awesome) if they don’t seriously affect the flavor.