A recent study found that people ate less food when the food had a strong aroma.
Strong Food Aroma Made People Take Smaller Bites
Researchers had people eat a custard, and then blew a strong smell into the participants' noses as they ate. This gave the impression that the food had a strong aroma.
They found two interesting things.
First, people took smaller bites when they thought the food had a strong aroma. If the food seemed flavorful, they seemed to need smaller bites to get the full taste experience.
The second interesting thing was that when they took smaller bites, they ate less food! The participants who ate the flavorful custard ate 5 to 10 percent less of it!
Processed Food -- Little Aroma, Lots of Sugar, Salt, and Fat
Processed food is often tasteless. It has little aroma.
It doesn't appear tasteless because it is so high in fat, sugar, and salt, that people get their taste experience from these tastes rather than from a delicious aroma.
Imagine eating some potato chips. You may think they're tasty, but the tastiness is due entirely to salt, grease, and texture. They have practically no smell. The same is true of most processed food.
Why Does Processed Food Have So Little Aroma?
Ingredients that make foods aromatic are expensive. Herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables are hundreds of times more expensive than the bland refined grains and sweeteners that characterize processed food.
Flavorful ingredients also lose their flavor quickly with time. Think of a loaf of freshly baked bread. It has a wonderful aroma. After a day, it's as bland as a store-bought loaf. Processed food takes weeks, even months, to get to your dinner table. By then, any flavor has long since dissipated.
Foods are more aromatic when they are hot. If you give your child a processed snack like a granola bar, the fact that it's room temperature will make it have little aroma, even if some of the ingredients, like fruits and nuts, would be flavorful if you heated them in the oven.
Processed Foods Make Your Child Learn to Overeat
If you give your child lots of processed foods, which have little aroma, you will be inadvertently teaching her to overeat. If she expects food to be relatively tasteless, she will stick to those foods which make her take large bites and therefore eat more.
Homemade Flavorful Foods Will Teach Your Child to Like Less Filling Foods
If you make homemade meals with lots of antioxidant-rich herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables, you will teach her to like the foods that will have sufficient flavor so that she does not need to take huge bites in order to get the taste experience that her brain desires. She will take small bites and eat less, and this habit will help her for the rest of her life.
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