Tales of Cinnamon and Obesity


You might be wondering what cinnamon and obesity really have to do with each other.

And, it’s likely to strike you as odd that we’re dealing with either on a blog dedicated to hotter-than-hell hot sauces. The truth is that there are a lot of links between hot sauces, cinnamon, and obesity. (Please notice we didn’t say similarities… though there are some.)

Grappling with Obesity

It’s way too easy to say that America’s fast-food culture has created the widespread issue of obesity in this country. It’s also not entirely true. Oh, we’re not saying that years of trans-fat-laden fries don’t carry their share of responsibility. It’s just that drive-thrus and frozen burger patties aren’t the only reason we’re grappling with obesity.

Now, we could pull in all sorts of sociological and cultural developments that transformed the way we live over the past century. You know the stuff: rations turning towards post-war jubilance, civil rights movements, the development of towns into cities, the emergence of 24-hour convenience, online shopping, changes in family structure (including the development of the dual-income families and single-parent households)… you name it, and all of this has to do with the shift in our eating and exercise patterns.

Through all of these movements, something has happened to our diet and the way we perceive food. It’s no longer a case of dinner on the table at six, and you’ll eat all your peas, thank you very much. Food has become an experience, a treat, a reason to meet up with friends – new and old. And through that, we’ve become accustomed to indulgence.

(And yes, this does have everything to do with hot sauce and cinnamon, but we’ll get there.)

Our changing food habits and patterns have made us susceptible to over-eating and eating overly-fatty foods when we can. Sure, not everyone does it, but we’re all exposed to it.

And, unbelievably, a high-fat diet can turn off our body’s ability to determine when we’re full or even when we’re hungry. Yep. There is scientific evidence to prove that we block these receptors through what we eat as well as how much of it we eat.

The Cinnamon Connection

Understanding how and why is only the beginning. Obesity is a medical issue with incredibly far-reaching ramifications in society. And, people are certainly beginning to take notice; there are more diets than ever before. Food trends springing from the situation have pushed us back towards organic, local, and fresh foods. And, people are certainly making these changes.

But, it’s wildly difficult to change the expectations we’ve spent a century cultivating. Once a point is passed, it’s almost impossible to feel satisfaction from the plate of steamed veggies where the burger and fries once sat. In some cases, it is as simple as making a decision and sticking to it until one’s body adapts physically to the new norm. The trouble lies, however, in that grey area where your body just doesn’t remember what “full” or “satiated” means.

That’s where cinnamon comes into play.

Cinnamon is closely related to capsaicin (the stuff that makes chilies hot). In fact, there’s chemically very little separating the two. And it appears that both have appetite suppressant qualities. Well, they both kick-start the body’s ability to say, “Hey, I’m full already” – you know, the reaction that high-fat diets suppress. Yep, cinnamon and capsaicin might just be the compounds we need to beat the obesity endemic. And why do we care? We’re just big fans of hotter than hell hot sauces and we just couldn’t help boasting about the health benefits of capsaicin – even if we had to throw cinnamon into the mix for a change of pace.

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