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Can You Train Yourself To Like Healthy Food?

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greenjuiceIf only spinach tasted like biscuits…well what if you could make this happen simply by training your brain to like the taste of healthy foods?

That is what new research from Nutrition & Diabetes has said after they looked at overweight individuals that were placed in a diet program. This program included an increased intake of high-fibre, low-GI foods and a lesser intake of unhealthy food like sweets.

Those that were placed in the program responded more positively to images of healthy food (think grilled salmon with vegetables) than images of unhealthy food (1). These findings further help us to understand how our love for sweets and junk food builds up over time in response to us continuing to eat what is available in our toxic food environment.

Similarly, another study has suggested that portion control can play a large part in changing eating habits. Instead of eating a whole plate of unhealthy food the researchers advise lowering the portion of unhealthy food on the plate while simultaneously increasing the amount of healthy food (2). By combining nutritious and not-so-nutritious foods you are able to still fulfill your taste goals while also training yourself to get used to the tastes of healthy food.

The good news is, there is an abundance of research out there that consistently shows that, if all else fails: “repeated exposure works”.  The extent to which a food is familiar, particularly with children will often determine whether it is acceptable and likeable … or eaten.

That means, undoubtedly the answer is yes… you can train yourself to like healthy food!

We do get clients asking if our meals are tasty as well as healthy, in fact, I had an email the other day asking if our meals were “nutritious and delicious”.  The meals that we provide at Healthy Meals to Your Door have been carefully created by a nutritionist and chef to ensure that they are both.  We intend that there is an equal amount of nutrition and pleasure of taste provided on every plate!  We hope that you will find the same!

[1] Deckersbach, T., et al. (2014). Pilot randomized trial demonstrating reversal of obesity-related abnormalities in reward system responsivity to food cues with a behavioural intervention. Nutrition & Diabetes, 4(9). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4183968/

[2] Vanderbilt University. (2014). Size matters when convincing your brain to eat healthier foods.

[3] Cooke, L. (2007). The Importance of Exposure for Healthy Eating in Childhood: A Review. Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics. Vol: 20. Issue 4.

Lisa Cutforth

Lisa Cutforth

Lisa Cutforth is a nutritionist, huge foodie, and owner (plus chef!) of Wholesomeness.

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