The Science of Acquiring a Taste For Foods You Hate: 7 Tips For Embracing New Flavors

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You’re out for dinner with several friends, one of them orders pizza with anchovies and olives to share, but you hate olives and anchovies! In your choice – Hawaii – or stay silent?

This show is played around the world every day. Some people strongly defend their personal choice. But many prefer to broaden their palates, and don’t need to rock the boat the next time someone in their friend group orders a pizza.

Can you train your taste buds to enjoy foods you never had before, like training muscles in the gym?

What determines ‘taste’?

Taste is a complex system we’ve developed to help us navigate the environment. It helps us choose foods that have nutritional value and avoid anything that might be harmful.

Foods are made up of different compounds, which include nutrients (such as proteins, sugars and fats) and Fragrances Detected by sensors in the mouth and nose. These sensors create Taste of food.

While flavor is what you pick up on your tongue, taste is the combination of how something smells and tastes. Along with texture, appearance, and sound, these sensations influence your joint food choices.

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Many factors influence food choices, including age, genetics, and environment. Each of us lives in our own sensory world and no two people are the same. experience during feeding.

Food preferences change with age. It was confirmed by a study on young children Natural selection Aversion to sweet and salty taste and bitter taste. As they grow older, their ability to like bitter foods increases.

Emerging evidence shows that bacteria in saliva can produce enzymes that affect the taste of food. For example, saliva causes the release of sulfur in cauliflower. of The more sulfur producedA child is less likely to enjoy the taste of cauliflower.

With nature raising

Both genetics and environment play an important role in determining food preferences. Twin studies suggest that genetics have a moderate influence on food preferences (between 32 percent and 54 percent depending on the type of food). Children, Adolescents And adults.

However, because our cultural environment and the foods we are exposed to shape our choices, these Choices are learned At a high level.

Much of this learning takes place in childhood, in our homes and other places where we eat. This is not a textbook. It is learning. By practicing (eating), which typically leads to liking the food—or by watching others do it (modeling), which can lead to both positive and negative associations.

Research He showed how environmental influences on food choices change between childhood and adulthood.

For children, the main factor is the home environment, which makes sense because children are influenced by the foods they prepare and eat at home. Environmental factors affecting adults and adolescents are more diverse.

The process of ‘acquiring’ taste

Coffee And beer are good examples of bitter foods that people “get” as they get older. The ability to overcome these dislikes is mostly due to the following reasons.

  • The social context in which they eat. For example, in many countries they may be associated with the transition to adulthood.
  • Physiological effects of the compounds they contain: Caffeine In coffee and alcohol in beer. Many people find these effects desirable.

But what about finding foods that don’t provide such desirable feelings, but are good for you, like cabbage or fatty fish? Can these be accepted?

Here are some strategies to help you learn to enjoy foods you don’t currently enjoy.

  1. Eat and keep eating. It only takes a small portion to build a liking for a particular flavor over time. It may take 10-15 tries or more before you say you “like” the food.
  2. Mask bitterness Eating with other foods or substances containing salt or sugar. For example, you can pair bitter rocket with a sweet salad dressing.
  3. Eat it often in a positive context. This means you can eat after playing your favorite sport or with your loved ones. Alternatively, you can eat it with your favorite foods; If it’s a different vegetable, try pairing it with your favorite protein.
  4. Eat it when you’re hungry. In a hungry state, you are more willing to accept tastes that you would not appreciate on a full stomach.
  5. Remind yourself why you want to enjoy this meal. Maybe you’re changing your diet for health reasons, or because you’re exploring countries and struggling with local food. Your reason helps motivate.
  6. Start young (if possible). It is easier for children to learn to like new foods because their taste buds are smaller.
  7. Remember: the more foods you love, the easier it is to learn to love others.

A balanced and varied diet is important for health. Efficient eating If it leads, it can be a problem. Vitamin And mineral deficiencies—especially if you’re avoiding whole food groups like vegetables.

At the same time, eating too many sweet but energy-dense foods can increase your risk of chronic disease, including obesity.

Understanding how your food choices are formed and how they can be improved is the first step on the way to a healthier diet.

Nicholas ArcherResearch Scientist, Sensory, Taste and Consumer Sciences; CSIRO And Astrid PoelmanPrincipal Investigator, Public Health and Safety Group; CSIRO

This article was reprinted from The conversation Under a Creative Commons license. Read Original text.

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