Tuesday, November 28, 2017 by Janine Acero
Food scientists have found evidence that our tongues have a certain sensitivity to the taste of carbohydrates, making it the sixth official taste that our taste buds are able to detect – apart from sweetness, sourness, bitterness, saltiness, and umami – according to an article by the Daily Mail.
Researchers from Deakin University in Australia studied 34 adults and discovered that the mouth could sense two common carbohydrates found in bread, pasta, and rice. They also examined the participants’ level of sensitivity to the taste, their carbohydrate intake, their overall calorie intake, and waist measurements. The findings suggest that those who were more sensitive to the taste of carbohydrates tend to eat more starchy foods, and so have larger waists.
“We specifically looked at waist measurements, as they are a good measure of the risk of dietary related diseases,” said researcher Julia Low.
A person is considered overweight if they have a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 29, and obese with a BMI of 30 and above. More than one-third of U.S. adults are obese and one in four Britons.
“Increased energy intake, in particular greater intakes of energy-dense foods, is thought to be one of the major contributors to the global rise of overweight and obesity, and carbohydrates represent a major source of energy in our diet,” said the study’s lead researcher Professor Russell Keast.
However, they found that the people who were more sensitive to fat consumed less fatty foods – the complete opposite of their findings with the study on carbohydrates.
“What that could mean is that individuals who are more sensitive to the ‘taste’ of carbohydrate also have some form of subconscious accelerator that increases carbohydrate or starchy food consumption,” explained Professor Keast. The researchers said further studies need to be conducted to identify the reason behind this phenomenon.
In a related study, researchers have found that people with a reduced ability to taste sweet flavors have a significantly increased desire for such foods. The research suggests that for every 20 percent reduction in a person’s ability to taste sugar, they add an extra one teaspoon of the sweet stuff to their meals.
Lead author Professor Robin Dando from Cornell University, said: “[Past research has] suggested that the overweight may have a reduction in their perceived intensity of taste. So, if an overweight or obese person has a diminished sense of taste, our research shows that they may begin to seek out more intense stimuli to attain a satisfactory level of reward.”
The study was published in the Journal of Nutrition.
Starchy foods are found in large amounts in a standard American diet – these include toast, bagels, french fries, pasta, pizza, tortillas, pretzels and potato chips.
Starch is part of the total carbohydrates along with sugars and dietary fibers, and is made of a long molecule of glucose which is broken down into another variation of sugar by your digestive system. To maintain proper digestion, you need to keep your gut microbiome balanced. Eating too much food rich in starch will only make you want to eat more, just like when you eat too much sugar, creating imbalance in the gut. This can potentially lead to a rise in your blood sugar levels, which have adverse health effects such as diabetes. (Related: Food for thought – Glucose levels affect willpower and mental focus.)
Conditions like diabetes and its symptoms can be reduced and eventually reversed with the proper lifestyle adjustments. As the saying goes, “we are what we repeatedly do,” which means the following will be most effective if incorporated into your daily routine:
You can read more diet-related stories like this at Detox.news.