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Learn to Love Healthy Flavor

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In the December 2012 issue of Eating Well magazine, you’ll find an intriguing article about ways to use all five of your senses to learn to love healthy foods. And isn’t holiday time the perfect season for that?

Changing Tastes” offers some easy — and intriguing — tips for learning to eat healthier by training (or retraining) our taste buds to prefer what’s actually better for our bodies, such as:

  • The nose knows: When you have dessert, pair it with a strong, pleasant scent — maybe lighting a vanilla candle nearby, or adding a cup of aromatic coffee. When we experience a strong complementary aroma with our food, we actually take smaller bites…and we don’t make it up by eating more.
  • Eat to a beat: Play your favorite upbeat tunes during healthy meals. Somehow our brain assigns the positive attributes of music we like to our judgements about the food we’re eating when we hear it. Music can even increase your appreciation of food’s flavor.
  • Mind the packet: Research shows that the increased sweetening power of artificial sweeteners can actually train your taste buds to prefer — even crave — intensely sweet flavors. So by gradually cutting out the packets in favor of foods with natural sweetness, after a few months you’ll find your palate doesn’t want or need that intensity anymore.

 

Take Today’s Step and read “Changing Tastes” in Eating Well’s December issue in print or on EatingWell.com — then try teaching your own taste buds something new. (Want a bigger challenge? Take on your kids’ demanding appetites!) What’s working for you? Share your ideas and questions in Comments below.

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