Can You Taste the Fat in your Food?

The HealthGal Health Guide
  • During a recent IFT (Institute of Food Technologies) Annual Meeting and Food Expo panelists discussed the fact that though individuals are suspected to mostly detect fat in their food through smell and texture, studies are beginning to suggest fat and fatty foods can actually be tasted. And these studies also suggest that some people cannot taste fat. These non-tasters typically have some genetic variations especially in the way they process foods. They may also be more likely because of this lack of taste, to eat more fatty foods or larger portions of fatty foods.


    Researchers also say that these non-tasters may be less likely to "eat what they love" and be guided more by this impaired fat tasting perception. Typically, people more sensitive to the fat taste will have a mechanism that moderates the total consumed amount of these fattier foods. Taking it a step further, it's easier to see how these non-tasters might also be more likely to gain weight and to develop higher risk for heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes, as well as certain cancers.  They may be eating an awful lot of fat.

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    Another notable observation is that when foods have a creamier consistency, it is usually associated with the food having a higher fat content, like sour cream, ice cream, and cheesecake. People who regularly consume these and other creamy foods like creamy Cole slaw and potato salad and creamy coffee drinks may develop an "increased preference", or as some even call it, an addiction to higher fat foods. That may translate into difficulty switching to low-fat yogurts, milk, leaner meats, simpler beverages and food items like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This is one reason why many dieticians do not want parents forbidding foods to their kids, but want to see parents categorizing certain processed, highly sweet or creamy foods as "special occasion foods." As sweet as in-season fruit can be, it may never measure up as a consistent choice by a child accustomed to eating candy bars daily.


    If you suspect that you are a non-taster you should have a discussion with your doctor and strategize how to change your dietary choices so you are satisfied but choosing less fatty foods. Your heart and waistline will love you for it!!

Published On: January 04, 2012