I’m not going to quote the entire article because I’ve put the link at the end of this post and you can surely read it during your free time.
I found these parts of the article quite fascinating:
“Findings from the Penn State study could uncover a critical link between taste and body weight, and reveal how flab hooks the brain on sugary food.”
“When you have a reduced sensitivity to palatable foods, you tend to consume it in higher amounts,”
“When you have excess body weight, the brain is supposed to tell you not to eat more, or not choose high caloric meals, but this control apparently fails and thus the obesity epidemic is rising, and we want to find out how the sense of taste drives up food intake.”
“For instance, there is an ever-increasing amount of fat and sugar in processed foods. The enhanced taste of these foods, stimulates our taste and food reward neurons on a chronic basis, making them less sensitive over time. And what do we do when this happens? “Instead of eating less, we seek out higher palatability, we simply start putting an extra spoonful of sugar in our coffee.”
These were quotes from Andras Hajnal, associate professor of neural and behavioral sciences at Penn State College of Medicine. These findings are really important in making overweight people understand that the choices they make in terms of food has a long term effect that they might not be aware of conscious of.
What does Krizia think?
That’s quite funny in a sense because it validates something a Frenchman had told me a few years ago.
During the time I was a food writer, I had met a French distributor of Poulain chocolates (my favourite dark chocolates) and we started debating about food habits in Canada and America versus the way the French eat (aka the French diet). The person I was debating with was convinced that America kids were fat because their “taste buds were corrupted”. He went on by saying that “all this sugar, soda drinks and fast food they eat prevented them from being able to enjoy good foods”.
I knew better than to argue with a Frenchman, but then again, I really couldn’t blame him for having these views because I also felt pretty much the way he did. I’ve spoken to so many people who dislike certain foods because they don’t like the taste. But, just like anything in your life you can develop of taste for certain foods.
If you are only used to eating fast foods and processed foods, than you accustom your taste buds to higher fat, higher sugar, higher salt and you will obviously find the taste of fruits and vegetables to be distasteful.
The same applies to people who drink a lot of soda drinks.
I remember a few years ago when I worked in the corporate world, one of my clients was a large bank and we’d have a lot of strategy sessions and we’d have to order lunch. One of the women who often attended the meetings was always frantically sending numerous emails to ensure there would be enough Diet Coke for the ENTIRE meeting. I remember once asking here about her love of Diet Coke and she looked at me with a very serious look on her face and revealed that it was more than just loving Diet Coke. She told me that she gets up at about 6:30 a.m. each morning and she has her first can of Diet Coke while watching the morning news on TV and she keeps drinking Diet Coke all day long until she goes to bed. Sometimes she’ll interchange the Diet Coke for a cup of coffee, but Diet Coke was her drink of choice and she found water to be utterly revolting.
I have to say that I’ve found that many people who drink a lot of soft drinks tend to find water boring and tasteless. I always shake my head at this because water is supposed to be tasteless … it doesn’t have taste because it doesn’t contains any added ingredients or flavouring.
A number of manufacturers have started adding flavours to water in an attempt to entice people to drink more water … but they are drinking a flavoured drink that contains either sugar or artificial sweeteners. This might trick people into thinking they are in fact drinking more water, but your body knows better.
It’s really a vicious circle because the more you expose your taste buds to a certain food, the more your taste buds, body and brain will crave that food and the more you feel the need to eat it.
The only way to jump off of this horrible merry go round is to introduce your taste buds to healthier food choices in a gradual fashion. I’ve always given the example of adding a small salad with your meals. So if you do want to eat that fast food burger, you might want to make sure you have a small salad and lunch or dinner to ease your way into eating better foods.
The same applies to your drinking habits. I’ve seen so many people add 4-6 teaspoons of sugar in a cup of coffee or tea. That’s simply insane and it you gradually cut back you sugar intake by ½ teaspoon each week, before you know it your taste buds will get accustomed to drinking your favour hot beverage with less sugar and you won’t find it distasteful.
I personally things that saturated fats and highly refined white sugar are the devil and I also believe that the more you consume them the more you need to consume them and this study really confirms this sad reality.
No, it’s not easy to change your eating habits and you will most likely fail if you try to do it overnight, but if you do it gradually, then you have time to get used to new tastes and it’s easier to stick with a healthier eating plan that way for a longer period of time.
So if you drink six soft drinks per day every day … try drinking five for one week or two and then cut it back by an extra can. If you eat at a fast food restaurant every day, cut that back to maybe three or four times during the week and introduce your taste buds to new foods for the rest of the week.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about these findings. Don’t forget to leave your comments below!
You can read the article from Science Daily here: Route To Obesity Passes Through the Tongue
Photo by pointnshoot