Have you ever wondered why do donuts taste so good?! Is it the fresh fluffiness of the dough that melts in your mouth… or the smoothness of the glazed topping that makes them so scrummy? It’s actually something very simple, and it makes many unhealthy foods hard to resist.
Research out of the UK has shown that the manufacturers of many processed foods have cottoned on to the fact that food with a proportion of 50% fat and 50% sugar stimulates the hedonistic or pleasure receptors in our brain.
Once we experience foods (such as donuts) with these exact proportions we start to desire them, even when we’re not hungry. So if you were wondering why do donuts taste so good, you were probably wondering why we crave other unhealthy foods too – it’s not just donuts with these proportions.
The science behind it
The study was tested on rodents who, when provided with a purely sugar or purely fat diet, only ate enough food needed to survive. But when they were given a diet of food containing a combination of 50% fat and 50% sugar, they started eating for pleasure and rapidly became overweight.
The research looked into the whole spectrum of diet components (monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fat, high GI and low GI carbohydrates and the different types of proteins) and the effect of different diet combinations on adverse health issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
The important thing to know
The important message here is not that we need to trawl through the nutrition information of everything we buy, but to try and avoid processed foods where possible. Not just because of the often high salt and cholesterol content, but because of this harmful combination of fat and sugar that often appears in processed foods but very rarely appears in natural food.
Another interesting fact
Interestingly, there was absolutely no correlation found between eating any of these foods in particular and the onset of adverse health issues mentioned above. The single most damaging effect was just simply being overweight and inactive.
So the message is clear, eat a healthy, balanced diet, avoid processed food and exercise regularly. It’s not rocket science it just takes a bit of effort. Simple huh?!
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