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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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appetite the desire to eat, is regulated by both physical and mental factors. It might be said that the physical feeling of wanting food is hunger, and the mental one is appetite; but the two sensations are so interlinked that the distinction is not useful.

Most obviously, we feel hungry because our stomach is empty. The time the stomach takes to empty after a meal depends on the nature of the food and how long it takes to digest; sugary foods take the least time, followed by other carbohydrates, proteins, and finally fats. Fats also inhibit the movements of the stomach wall, further slowing digestion.