Health & Wellbeing

The "taste" of carbs may be making us fat

The "taste" of carbs may be ma...
If you're good at detecting the taste of carbohydrates, you may be more likely to pack on the pounds
If you're good at detecting the taste of carbohydrates, you may be more likely to pack on the pounds
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If you're good at detecting the taste of carbohydrates, you may be more likely to pack on the pounds
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If you're good at detecting the taste of carbohydrates, you may be more likely to pack on the pounds

When it comes to the taste of foods, most of us assume that everything we eat is either sweet, sour, bitter, salty or umami. According to a team led by Prof. Russell Keast at Australia's Deakin University, however, carbohydrates have their own unique taste. What's more, people who are particularly able to sense it are more likely to put on weight.

"It is typically sugar, with its hedonically pleasing sweet taste, that is the most sought after carbohydrate," says Keast. "But our research has shown that there is a perceivable taste quality elicited by other carbohydrates independent of sweet taste."

His team looked at two carbohydrates, maltodextrin and oligofructose, which are found in foods such as bread, pasta and rice. Initial testing conducted by Dr. Julia Low indicated that both carbs could be detected – on their own – by the taste buds.

She then studied 34 adult test subjects, and found that the people who were most sensitive to that taste tended to consume more carbohydrates, and had a larger waist size.

In an earlier study, Keast's team determined that fat, also, has its own unique taste. In that case, however, it was found that people who were most able to detect it generally ate less fatty foods. It isn't known why the opposite applies to carbohydrates, although Keast states that it could be because "individuals who are more sensitive to the 'taste' of carbohydrate also have some form of subconscious accelerator that increases carbohydrate or starchy food consumption."

A paper on the research was published this week in the Journal of Nutrition.

Source: Deakin University

2 comments
Mzungu_Mkubwa
I would just like to comment, in case anyone wonders, that the lead picture of this article perfectly illustrates my own personal passion for pasta. I highly suspect that this is precisely how I look when consuming this ambrosia of the gods known as spaghetti, save for the clean shirt and perfectly coiffed hair of the poser they used to model the act. I am very sure that I am one of those mentioned in the article as having this "carbohydrate superpower" and would be very willing to submit to rigorous clinical testing, as long as it included all the noodles I could eat!
IvanWashington
I think I am one of those carb supertasters as well. so going low-carb was a major sacrifice for me.