Research suggesting that we have the ability to identify the taste of "fat" in addition to the other primary tastes (sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami) is intriguing. This article implies that this "could help scientists make better foods." Im certain that there is a better use of findings than to give scientists further reason to conjure up more food-like products.
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Consider these findings as evidence that we have a built in governor that is designed to help us to avoid overeating healthy fats. As the recent Business Insider article points out, when fat is consumed in isolation it is identified as unpleasant. This is why spooning down a tub of butter is revolting to even consider. On the other hand having the ability to identify the taste of "fat" when paired with other foods is very useful. This is why adding a pad of pastured butter to steamed broccoli turns lackluster healthy greens into something much more appetizing.
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To me, these findings suggest that a 50-60 year era of non-fat nutrition promotion was unnecessary. Responsible consumption of healthy fats in foods where they inherently exist or paired with nutritious foods that taste better with them is something we've always been equipped to do. If only we had trusted our "fat" taste buds, eating healthy could have been so much tastier over the last 50+ years.
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Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS is the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Los Angeles Lakers and Founder of TD Athletes Edge, where he provides fitness, recovery and nutrition guidance to aspiring and professional athletes. For training advice, visit www.tdathletesedge.com and follow him on Twitter/Instagram through @tdathletesedge.