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Thread: How Dieting Changes Your Taste

  1. #1
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Jul 2003

    How Dieting Changes Your Taste

    Have you noticed that when you diet, candy seems sweeter and potato chips seem saltier? When we're hungry, food tastes stronger, Science Daily reports of new research from the University of Malawi in Zomba, Malawi in southern Africa.

    Why? Hunger apparently increases our ability to taste by boosting the sensitivity of the taste receptors on the tongue. It also changes the way we perceive the same taste stimuli.

    You don't even have to be on a diet to experience this phenomenon. Just skipping breakfast will make you more sensitive to sweet and salty tastes, according to the African researchers.

    The study: Sixteen male undergraduate students from the University of Malawi participated in the study. None of them smoked or drank alcohol and all had good normal hygiene. All were of normal weight. The volunteers were given dinner at 6:30 p.m. and then skipped breakfast the next morning. Hungry after not eating for so long, they were then asked to taste without swallowing sugar, salt, and quinine solutions of different concentrations and report whether the liquids tasted sweet, salty, or bitter. One hour after lunch, the 16 men repeated this taste test.

    The results: When the men were hungry, they were more sensitive to the presence of sugar and salt in the drinks. Interestingly, being hungry or full did not impact the volunteers' ability to recognize bitter tastes. Why? Lead study author Y.P. Zverev explained in the journal BMC Neuroscience that he suspects the difference is due to the different roles that the tastes play. "While sweet and salty tastes are indicators of edible substances and trigger consumption, a bitter taste indicates a substance which is not suitable for consumption and should be rejected." It's important that bitter--and potentially toxic--solutions be recognized at all times.

  2. #2
    Master Procrastinator
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Michigan, USA!
    I used to not understand how anyone could drink diet pop. It tasted so icky to me. Now that I have been drinking it for many years, it tastes just fine to me, sweet even. I tried to drink regular pop not too long ago at a party because there was no diet available. I couldn't drink more than two sips. It was like drinking pure sugar. Talk about icky! I went over a year not eating chocolate last year but for Easter, I had a piece of a Lindt milk chocolate bar. Talk about heaven! My taste buds were totally stimulated. I plan to do the same thing this Easter, too.

  3. #3
    Custom Title
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    Jul 2003
    I was a Pepsi-holic for years. I had to give it up completely when I developed gestational diabetes with my youngest daughter. After she was born, I tried drinking it again. It was the nastiest tasting drink I had ever tried. That was 16 years ago and I still can't stand the stuff.

  4. #4
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    San Joaquin Valley, Ca.
    I am totally addicted to Diet's 8:30 in the morning and I'm sipping one one now (I don't drink coffee, so my rational is that it's my source of morning caffeine). Since my older son moved out, I have been eating must be nerves I guess......42

  5. #5
    Custom Woman
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    New York, NY
    Fascinating post, Lad. Do you have a link to the article you read or the study? If you do, I'd really appreciate your PMing it to me or posting it. Thanks!

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