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Drinking broth before a meal can facilitate healthy eating

Beginning a meal with a soup might be the best way to set yourself up for healthier eating choices for the rest of the meal. 

Glutamate, a naturally occurring amino acid in many foods and a key component in producing the umami flavor, has now been shown to improve cognitive processes including inhibitory control. A recent study in Neuropsychopharmacology demonstrated that after consuming an umami-rich broth, individuals performed better when self-regulating their eating at a buffet or generally making choices regarding food. While previous data has shown that glutamate can help reduce appetite, this one demonstrates how. “Many cultures around the world advocate drinking a broth before a meal. 

Our study suggests the possibility that people at high risk of obesity could benefit from an umami-rich broth before a meal to facilitate healthy eating and healthy food choice,” said senior author Alonso-Alonso, MD, PhD, an assistant professor at the Center for the Study of Nutrition Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.