Other Foods

Tomatoes are a dieter’s dream

There was a quite ridiculous story in the UK press. The article starts off talking about tomatoes being a possible wonderfood – supposedly leaving us satisfied and suppressing “one of the slimmer’s biggest pitfalls – the urge to snack.”

You know you are in for a daft story when the article says that the findings emerged from research into the benefits of enriching white bread with fruit and vegetables. What?! Why on earth would be want to do anything to encourage people to eat white bread?! Even if you put liver (one of the most nutrient rich foods on the planet) into white bread, you are still better off eating whole meal bread and liver separately.

Anyway, back to the serious research – a small group of women (they don’t say how many, so this will be really small) between 18 and 35 were offered cream cheese sandwiches that had been made with either white bread or white bread enriched with carrots or tomatoes (yes, dear reader, we really do have fine minds at good universities – this time Reading – doing really stupid and pointless things). The tomato bread was apparently more satisfying (probably according to one person – as someone, in this small group of women, had to have the normal white bread and someone had to have the white carrot bread!)

The article then goes on to speculate what it could be in tomatoes that made the person (or two) feel fuller. Could it be Lycopene – the pigment that gives tomatoes their red colour? Could it be – actually Lycopene was the only idea they came up with, so I’m being a bit naughty here. Could it be – nothing, because actually this is all subjective anyway. The only way to measure ‘feeling fuller’ is to ask the person – so this study is entirely subjective, but let’s not allow that to get in the way of a good story!

Why do we have good brains doing such studies? Why are they not reading Benedict 1917, Keys 1945, Stunkard & Hume 1959 and wondering why we still think eating less will solve the obesity epidemic?

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