Before switching to a plant-based diet, fast-food French fries tasted so much better than a plain baked potato, would you agree? There are two reasons that would explain this.
The first reason is due to what Dr. Doug Lisle calls "The Pleasure Trap." He says that our bodies were designed to search for three key flavors in foods that would not only satisfy our appetites, but would also enable us to survive and reproduce. However, we were designed to eat these flavors in very low concentrations that are contained in "highly-fibrous, water-dense, nutrient-rich foods."
This natural instinct has been impaired by modern food manufacturers who have discovered how to separate foods and put them back together again with super saturated concentrations of sugar, fat and salt. This addictive combination keeps customers coming back for more. These flavors "seduce our taste buds" by stimulating our brain's pleasure center, causing us to crave the artificial hyper-palatable concentrated flavors over the natural flavors in whole, unprocessed foods, creating a dopamine rush. Foods that are lower in fat and calories do not create dopamine surges.
The second reason why we prefer highly concentrated flavors is because if we are eating the typical American diet, our taste buds are accustomed to eating those flavors. When we first begin the transition to a healthier plant-based diet the foods may taste very bland and not very satisfying. Dr. Michael Greger explains in this short video that our taste buds actually change, and after just a few weeks, our taste sensations become more sensitive to the foods with a lower salt, sugar, and fat content — so these foods actually begin to taste better. After a few short months, foods that we once loved, have now become unpalatable due to the high salt, sugar and fat content. This will be replaced with a new appreciation for the delicious taste and flavors of whole, natural, plant foods.
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