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Morning Lineup – January 4

Friday Morning – Feeling Better Now?

Now that the New Year's parties are over and (hopefully) everybody made it back home ok, you might – just might – be wondering why you were craving a bunch of greasy food while you were watching the Rose Bowl game later that day.  Well, wonder no more!  Firegeezer has the answers to all those questions you never had, and this is no exception.

Popular Science published an article the other day which tells us that our craving for fat, greasy foods that occurs when we have a hangover has its origins in our caveman ancestors.  Yep, that's what they're claiming.  Writing in PopSci, Melody Chandler passes along to us:

"All mammals gravitate to eating the most energy-dense foods," David Levitsky, professor of human ecology and nutritional sciences at Cornell University, says. "Fat is the most energy-dense food available." It’s just that sober, you won’t usually give in to those cravings. But after a night of boozy indulgence, you lose such learned inhibitions as disciplined eating, Levitsky says.

Another explanation involves brain chemistry, specifically a brain chemical called galanin. William Gruchow, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, has studied and written about galanin and its effects on various neurotransmitters. "Galanin increases appetite for fats, and consumption of fat causes more galanin to be produced," Gruchow said. "Alcohol intake also results in increased galanin production."

Gruchow says he thinks galanin might be stimulated by triglycerides, which are released by fat and alcohol. Triglycerides, converted calories stored in fat cells, are typically released by the body when energy is needed between meals, according to the Mayo Clinic’s website.

By consuming large quantities of high-fat foods and alcohol, you increase your triglycerides possibly stimulating galanin production. That, in turn, makes you crave that calorific Denny's breakfast you'd never touch otherwise. "The bottom line here is that alcohol intake increases one’s appetite for fat, and fat intake does the same. This is a double whammy for drinkers who eat fatty foods while drinking," Gruchow says.

While none of these researchers have yet discovered just which alcoholic beverage Alley Oop was consuming, they are comfortable with letting you go ahead and blame the poor guy for passing along the "greasy 'burger gene."

I don't know if Mr. Oop had access to the coffee bean, but I'll bet he checked out his club every morning about this time.  So let's unleash our equipment check genes while I take advantage of the mechanics of the Bunn-O-Matic before we meet back in the day room.  See you there.

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