Women and men, science traces the identikit of tastes at the table – DiLei

For him, foods that contain a greater quantity of are often preferred fat and salt. The woman, on the other hand, prefers carbohydrates and vegetables. To say it is a recent study published on Nutrition & Food Science by the Department of Human Sciences and Quality of Life Promotion of the San Raffaele Telematic University of Rome, which examined the eating behaviors of 2,021 adults, of which 1,276 were women, using a questionnaire consisting of 12 questions on eating habits, 17 on tastes food and 4 on healthy eating.

The key in sex hormones

Women and men, obviously in general terms, choose different foods when they sit down at the table. To say it is a survey, currently being published, conducted by the Department of Endocrinology of the Federico II University of Naples on 43 studies in the last 10 years. The analysis says that food preferences depend on biological sex and age more than the place where we live and cultural factors.

In particular, “The association between gender differences in nutrition and sex hormones is recent and needs to be explored and deepened with further studies – reports Annamaria Colao, president of the Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) and Full Professor of Endocrinology at the Federico II University of Naples. But there is a growing awareness that food preferences in the Western world are influenced more by the biological components linked to sex, hormonal balance and physiological changes of the reproductive state (menstrual cycle and menopause), than by the social components linked to the roles culturally attributed to identity masculine and feminine.

The review by the Federico II research group suggests that estrogens act on the hypothalamic nuclei, which oversee the control of hunger and satiety, activating the cannabinoid system which stimulates appetite and induces donne the desire for foods rich in carbohydrates.

The men instead they are more inclined to eat foods rich in fats because testosterone activates another system which is that of dopamine, a brain neurotransmitter that generates a greater sensation of strength and aggression”. In short: there are profound differences between women and men at the table. In the opinion of the expert, only women take advantage of it, at least until menopause, when with the drop in estrogen the differences are reduced and they tend to have preferences more similar to men.

It is more difficult for him to stay at meals

Women and men differ not only in the qualitative choices of food but also in the time of day in which they take it, with different metabolic repercussions: males have a propensity to concentrate food consumption in the evening hours, women instead more in the first half of the day. It is important not only what you eat but also when you eatto. Just like the well-known sleep-wake cycle that is managed by the biological clock located in the hypothalamus, other rhythms, including hunger, are also established by an internal clock marked by changes in metabolism that occur during the day.

“That’s why to maintain a normal weight it’s important to synchronize the time we take meals with our internal timer, concentrating the consumption of food in the first part of the day when cortisol levels are higher and the daily energy requirement is greater- says Colao.

According to the review, 47% of women concentrate their food consumption in the first part of the day against 33% of men. For the evening instead it is 46% of women against 63% of men. Women therefore tend to indulge the biological clock, with beneficial effects for maintaining a normal weight. Men, on the other hand, are “late eaters” that is, night eaters when cortisol levels are lower. This leads to worse metabolic consequences because they are ‘out of phase’ with the biological timetable and a greater risk of developing obesity, also because they are more inclined than women to wake up to consume snacks at night”.

Final advice: the important thing is that most of the daily calories are consumed by 3 pm. Meal timing also affects weight control.

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