“Want to eat more” and “tastes good” aren’t the same feeling

May 7, 2014 by Joshua
in Awareness, Fitness, Leadership, Nature

Do you notice the difference between something tasting good and something making you want to eat more of it?

If you want to eat healthy, you’ll care about the difference because companies that make junk food know the difference and use it to manipulate you. You end up spending money on unhealthy things that are profitable to them and you lose control of your eating habits.

Most of the time these feelings overlap: a mango tastes good and when you have some you usually want more.

But they don’t always overlap. Eat too much mango and while the taste will stay the same so it will taste just as good, you won’t want to eat more of it. See the difference?

I find most fruit and things you can eat without processing them have that property. Eat a little of something that tastes good and you want to eat more. Eat too much and you stop wanting to eat more of it.

Doritos don’t fit this pattern, at least by my taste buds. They make me want to eat more but don’t necessarily taste good. Eating one makes you want to eat more, but if you pay attention to the flavor, I suspect you’ll find they don’t taste that good. Your taste buds may respond differently than mine. Same with Pringles and countless other junk foods.

Nor does Coca-Cola or other sugary drinks stop making you want to keep drinking them. When I’m super thirsty—like after running a half-marathon on a hot summer day—I want to drink water. It tastes delicious. But after a certain amount, I don’t want to drink any more. Gatorade, however, I want to keep drinking, even if I wasn’t thirsty in the first place.

I think plants and animals evolved together so that plants mixed things that would motivate us to eat parts of them that would help them grow or spread their seed with things that were healthy. Then today, “food” manufacturers learned they could get people to buy more of their “food” by including what motivated us to eat more. So they combine whatever is cheap with extracts that make you eat more and presto, high volume sales of low-cost products. So much more profitable than carrots.

Pay attention to your sensations, feelings, and motivations and you’ll be less susceptible to manipulation. And you’ll eat healthier.

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2 responses on ““Want to eat more” and “tastes good” aren’t the same feeling

  1. Pingback: News roundup: drugs, sex, and injuries | Joshua Spodek

  2. Pingback: Tastes Good versus Want More, explored in depth » Joshua Spodek

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