Maybe your weekly shop is full of packaging promising that the food inside will taste good, stay fresh and be good for you. You may also find that some products claim to charge you for a long time. But can food really satisfy our appetite?

Some studies suggest that some foods such as Ginger and pepper, Gary Frost, head of the Imperial Nutrition and Food Network at Imperial College London, uses large amounts of food and tests its effects on animals. Translating these effects to humans has yet to happen, he added.

But one study observed. Appetite-reducing properties of capsaicin in chili peppers, (the active ingredient that provides the cooling effect) using amounts that mimic the average human diet. Mary-John Ludy, an associate professor of food and nutrition at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, USA, first experimented at home to determine what was a palatable and realistic amount for someone living in the US Midwest.

She then invited 25 people into her lab six times and fed them bowls of tomato soup. After the soup, they stay in the lab for four and a half hours so their appetite and energy expenditure can be measured regularly. They were then offered another meal and told to eat as much as they wanted.

When eating the soup containing 1g of chili, the participants burned an additional 10 calories in four and a half hours. Participants who usually only eat chili once a month said they had less thought about food and ate 70 calories when offered the second meal, compared to those who usually ate chili three or more times a week.

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Ludi did a similar experiment with chili in capsules instead of soup, but the increase in fat burning was found after consuming the chili-tomato soup.

“This says something important about experiencing the sensation of mouth tightness/burning,” she says.

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