Artificial flavors are tricking our brains into not wanting to eat healthy foods, according to best-selling author Mark Schatzker.
Schatzker is the author of The Dorito Effect, a book that looks at the relationship between our brains, flavor and nutrition. Specifically, Schatzker believes that artificial flavoring is the reason behind many modern health problems, including obesity.
“Evolution did not program us to get fat — we’ve simply tricked ourselves into craving the wrong foods,” Schatzker says on his website.
Schatzker believes that the synthetic and artificial flavors commonly used in snack foods have dulled our body’s hunger response to nutritional foods. According to him, human beings used to desire the flavor of foods that they needed to survive, such as meat, fruits and vegetables, however they are now craving synthetic flavors.
“Synthetic flavors in foods have heightened their desirability at the very same time that whole foods are losing flavor,” he said. “Tomatoes, chicken, strawberries — everything we grow is bigger and cheaper, but blander than ever.”
Schatzker says that, when we eat artificially flavored foods, we are responding to our body’s desire for nutritious foods with snacks that contain similar flavors, but no nutrition.
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“Now that we’ve broken that connection between flavor and nutrition by creating synthetic flavors, we have created foods that tell a thrilling but deceptive nutritional lie,” he said.
Schatzker talks about his own personal experience with synthetic flavors, and what he does to improve his body’s connection between nutrition and flavor.
“I stopped putting sugar in my coffee,” he said. “Not because I was trying to cut back on sugar but because I felt like it was getting in the way of tasting the coffee. It’s like I’ve rewired my palate,” he says.
Schatzker suggests that using less flavor additives and avoiding highly synthetic flavors can help restore the body’s ability to crave nutritious foods.
To learn more about Mark Schatzker and The Dorito Effect, click here.
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