Dr. Megan Johnson McCullough – When it comes to taste buds and foods we should “sometimes” have or “in moderation”, most people tend to have a sweet versus a savory preference. Sweet would-be foods that taste like sugar or honey. Savory tends to have full-flavor and even spicy. Chefs take delight in pleasing their audiences, so meeting the satisfaction of sweet vs savory items is of importance. In a simpler context, someone who wants a sweet snack might reach for chocolate chip cookies. Someone who likes savory might reach for barbeque chips.
Sweet foods include fruits, chocolate, vanilla, and some caramels and peanut butters. Savory foods include meats, most salty items like peanuts, and cheeses. Sometimes the pairing of sweet and savory is desirable. For example, a chef might prepare pork with a honey glazed sauce. Sometimes pairing two sweets can be done such as having chocolate covered strawberries. Two savory items could be parmesan crusted fish.
There’s growing research that taste is inherited, suggesting that maybe there is a reason you don’t crave certain foods. Preference may not be the determinant, rather, persons actually taste foods differently. Maybe it isn’t a child’s fault if they don’t like peas, instead, they really do taste bad when eaten. There are also certain personal characteristics that impact a persons’ taste. A specific gene called TAS2R38 makes some people tasters and some people non-tasters. An example of this would be how some people consider kale to be bitter while others don’t taste bitter at all. Hypersensitive people are deemed as supertasters in the sphere of science because they are overly sensitive to bitterness and other bold flavors; this makes it challenging for them to seek out food and drink that complements their intricately aligned buds. Sensitive tasters have fewer taste buds but still experience a heightened response to prominent flavors. Finally, the tolerant taster has the least amount of taste buds and therefore, is likely to enjoy a more diverse medley of flavors.
You can re wire your tastebuds. Did you know that our tastebuds undergo a constant process of renewal in which the taste receptor cells have a turnover somewhere between 8–14 days? That means you can fight away those cravings in about 2 weeks. Try it yourself. Cut out sugar for two weeks and you will find your cravings have become accustomed to going without. Your gut is like your second brain so when craving cues are sent by the gut, they’re influenced by what they know. If cravings don’t know about sugar anymore, the cravings will want something else. That something else is what it is being given. It’s simple. Eat healthy foods and your body wants healthy foods. Eat sugar and your body wants sugar.
We are all sweet enough and nobody wants to act salty, rather let’s savor great moments in life not in food. Eat to live don’t live to eat (easier said than done of course).