Food glorious food………
Let’s face it, we don’t just eat food to obtain all the necessary calories and nutrients. We eat because it feels good.
Now, when we overindulge – the brain is frequently held responsible for not knowing when to stop. And as the boss, the brain is the higher authority…….. but the brain is not the only organ weighing in, on these decisions.
Research published in the Journal of Consumer Research, suggests, the tongue’s preferences, can have a big impact on just how much of a particular food is consumed.
So what does the tongue like ?
The researchers report, soft and smooth is your tongue’s preference.
The team designed an experiment, which rewarded volunteers with cups filled with bite size brownie bits. Some volunteers received hard brownies, while others received soft brownies. The reward was framed as “eat as much as you like ………… you deserve it”. Behind the scenes, the researchers counted up, exactly what was eaten.
Volunteers receiving cups filled with soft bits – emptied their cups, a lot quicker, than those who received cups with hard brownies.
It makes sense….
Tongues are in to touch
Soft and smooth is going to feel quite different to, hard and rough.
Tongues enjoy the sensation of being enveloped by velvety substances….
Plus, in addition to the sensual touch from the food, soft and smooth requires a whole lot less crushing and grinding, to get it in a format that is easy to swallow. And less chewing means less work, for your molars and your tongue.
Unfortunately, soft and smooth is typically a high calorie food.
Calories amass in soft and smooth
For a food item to be described as soft and smooth, it usually needs to have a creamy constitution. To have a creamy constitution, typically requires lots of fat. Since fat is calorie dense – food items that are soft and smooth are “fattening”
Mmmmmmmm. I am thinking of ice cream and mashed potatoe with lots of cream and butter.
Contrast this with a serving of raw vegetables. Hard, rough and ……….low on calories.
This relationship is not news….
Brains know calorie maths
When the researchers asked volunteers to estimate the calorie counts of bites of chocolate with different consistencies, all the volunteers KNEW………
The smooth chocolate came with a higher calorie count.
Brains are not stupid, they know calorie maths. The trouble is, in the moment of culinary delight, you’re not interested in the brain’s point of view. Your tongue’s opinion dominates.
But your brain can get a word in,………… if you’re reminded.
Remembering to count calories
When the team encouraged their volunteers to be mindful of the calorie count of their brownie reward. The dipping into the cup filled with soft and squishy brownie bites STOPPED. In fact, when all was said and done, more hard brownie bits were eaten.
The short and tall of the situation…….. when the volunteers considered the calorie count, they were able to listen to the brain’s advice.
Curtail your binges
Your brain is one smart cookie.
But, it is not a bully……… it allows the tongue moments of indulgence. Regrettably too many moments of indulgence, can create havoc, if you are weight watching.
So next time you notice you tongue is having an orgasmic experience, savouring something soft and smooth…………….
Give your tongue a bit of a tongue lashing – focus on the calories !
PS. Watch out for the “hard food is healthy deception”. A hard as nails biscuit, is still a biscuit i.e. it is a high carb sugar laden snack.
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