I just love reading books about the relationship between nutrition and health! How about you?
My latest read, The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker, offers a fascinating look at how the development of so-called “natural flavors” have contributed to our current health crisis of rising rates of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
It turns out that Doritos are the first food that don’t taste like what they actually are. Prior to Doritos, corn chips tasted like corn chips and potato chips tasted like potato chips. Doritos are corn chips that taste like tacos! And buffalo chicken, and ranch dressing, etc., etc., etc. The use of “natural flavors” has expanded exponentially, so that you are consuming them when you eat almost anything.
What does this have to do with health? According to Schatzker, over the last century food producers have been breeding for yield, not flavor. Bite into any supermarket sold tomato and this fact will instantly be confirmed. However, this also apparently extends to livestock – for example, chicken today is bland and tasteless when compared to how chickens tasted at the turn of last century.
Schatzker provides a very convincing argument that science has established that nutrition and flavor go hand in hand. The more nutrients, the better the flavor. The less flavor, the less nutrients. He also explains that we have inner sensors that “turn off” hunger and provide a sense of satiation when we have taken in enough nutrients. When we eat foods like Doritos, in which the flavor comes from “natural flavorings”, and not from actual nutrients, our bodies will keep on eating as they are awaiting nutrients. This explains why we can eat an entire bag of Doritos, but have no interest in bingeing out on broccoli.
Your takeaway? Here is another reason to eat whole foods. Foods that contain the nutrients that are bodies need for ideal, healthy functioning. When you do this, you will be working with your body’s natural shut-off valve, thereby reducing cravings that lead to over-eating.
Do you find this topic as fascinating as I do? Then order Schatzker’s book!