The quality of the food you eat will affect your overall health. Ideally, one has to eat whole foods and fresh produce to stay healthy. Unfortunately, the tastiest foods are those that are deep-fried, laden with butter or contain high sugar. Eating junk foods or unhealthy foods will inevitably lead to weight gain and high percentage of body fat.
The sugar and fat content of processed food also triggers an addictive cycle in the brain. This means every time you eat unhealthy foods, the brain will start craving for it. You get the same high from foods as addicts get from drugs.
But according to Dr. David Katz, MD., you can train your taste buds to want healthy foods instead of junk food. Dr. Katz is the author of Disease-Proof. He said that you can fool your taste buds into favoring healthy flavors instead of being sucked into the vicious cycle of wanting greasy, salty or sugary foods. How? Consider these tips:
Giving Second Chances
Hated broccolis or carrots since you were a child? Why not give these veggies another chance now that your taste buds have fully developed? The taste buds of children are extremely sensitive. That’s why most kids are picky eaters. Some veggies have stronger or bitter taste. But as you grow older, the taste buds become less sensitive. This means the foods you hated then might not necessarily be as unpalatable as you remember. So go ahead, give the veggies you used to dislike another chance!
Pairing foods you dislike with those that you love helps enhance the flavor, making the taste palatable. That’s because the flavor of the food you hate is masked by the flavor of the food you like. For example, if you don’t like eating carrots but you love spinach, why not pair these two in a yummy stir-fry? If you don’t like beets, why not add it to a smoothie to give your drink a nutritious punch? You can do the same thing if your kids aren’t big veggie eaters. You can incorporate spinach, beets, carrots and celery to their smoothies.
Better Food Choices
Giving up on processed foods is a great way to stay healthy and boost weight loss. But if you can’t imagine giving up on rice, you can replace it with whole grains instead. Replace rice with quinoa or brown rice. These grains are healthier and less fattening. If you are still craving for white rice’s distinct taste then try mixing 1/3 brown rice with 2/3 white rice. Once you become accustomed to the taste of brown rice, then you can go 100% brown rice.
Craving for unhealthy food? Tamp your craving by eating foods with contrasting flavor. For instance, if you are craving for something sweet, eat something sour instead. The contrast in flavor will reduce – if not totally eliminate – your craving for sweets.
Learning More About Nutritional Value
To motivate yourself to eat better, educate yourself about the nutrients you get from certain foods you hate. For instance, if you don’t like eating Brussels sprouts then you might find the motivation to do so if you learn that it’s high in cancer-fighting compounds along with fiber, vitamin A, C and K plus other minerals.