With thanks to Mike Eades for the full text.
This is an interesting study. Given a meal of meatballs plus a choice of five different carbohydrate sources, a group of children ate a great deal less (in calories) of boiled mashed potatoes than of pasta, rice or either of two types of chips.
"The five treatment sessions consisted of ad libitum servings of (i) rice, (ii) pasta, (iii) boiled and mashed potato (BMP), (iv) baked French fries (BFF) and (v) fried French fries (FFF) with a fixed amount (100 g) of meatballs".
What did they find?
"... children consumed 30–40% less calories at meals with BMP (p less than 0.0001) compared with all other treatments, which were similar".
That's a LOT less calories! Potatoes seem to have some sort of magical satiety property. If you believe in magic. Table 1 gives an inkling of the problems with the study:
As you read through the cooking description you realise (red box) that the carbohydrates had very different amounts of added fat per unit carbohydrate and that some had butter (+/- added milk) while others had canola oil in varying doses. So when we look at Table 3 we have to realise that "CHO amount (g)" means an assorted mix of various fats and carbs:
We have to work back using Table 1 to find out what amounts of carbohydrate and fat were actually eaten and read the cooking details to find out what the fats were in each dish. Some arithmetic gives us this for what was actually eaten:
To my mind the trial here splits in to two. We have BMP, boiled mashed potatoes with 3g of carbohydrate per gram of butter, which is fairly well matched with FFF, chips deep fried in canola oil, with 2g of carbohydrate per gram of canola oil. Both are potatoes. Both provide a roughly similar ratio of calories/grams from glucose and fat. Both are relatively low carbohydrate per unit fat (compared to the other three meals, ie just in this study).
From the Protons point of view the relatively low carb BMP and FFF are supplying glucose from potatoes to drive complex I. However butter also supplies FADH2 at ETFdh, so generates a resistance within adipocytes (and elsewhere) to an excessive insulin facilitated calorie ingress during the period of maximal blood nutrient levels. When calories stop falling in to adipocytes, satiety kicks in. Using FADH2 this happens after eating 508 kcal. With FFF based on canola oil, ie potatoes steeped in 18 carbon omega 3 and 6 PUFA, the beta oxidation generates a much lower input at ETFdh (one less FADH2 per double bond) and so insulin sensitivity at peak nutrient uptake is maintained for longer, fat pours in to adipocytes for longer and almost twice as many calories are consumed (912 kcal) before satiety kicks in. I expect satiety to rise as blood nutrients rise. Not sequestering them in to adipocytes seems the best way to do this. More physiological insulin resistance. I'm guessing the brain does the actual sensing of both glucose and FFAs.
I like that. You can say what you like about the hypothalamus. I prefer to think about the adipocytes and their mitochondria as determining what gets done with food and hunger. There is some input from leptin of course, but that's another post.
The other three carbohydrate dishes are essentially lowish fat foods with between 7g and 10g of carbohydrate per gram of butter or canola oil.
In these lower fat preparations it takes three or four teaspoons of butter to generate satiety vs just under 6 teaspoons of canola oil, roughly twice as much fat is needed when carried with a similar amount of starch. A reasonable fit with a Protons point of view, though not as pleasing as the BMP vs FFF comparison.
How the study was developed is fascinating to think about.
What decisions were made at the planning stage? Obviously, someone had worked out, well before any grant application was submitted, that higher saturated fat with lower carb meals are by far the most satiating. Or maybe they are dumb and they were just lucky to get a result? Personally, I can't see how you engineer a study like this unless you are pretty clever and well informed, not at the mitochondrial level of course, but certainly at the butter level. Mashed potatoes, which already have something of a reputation as a miracle weight loss food, getting a helping hand... From a dollop of butter. It makes sense.
BTW this is Canada. I can't see how such a study would ever have gotten past any ethics review committee in the US of A. Imagine trying to feed BUTTER to American children. Immoral. Plus they might not eat up their carbs!