Home » Tastes and Flavors » Why Does Healthy Food Taste Bad?

Why Does Healthy Food Taste Bad?

When it comes to eating a clean diet, one of the most prevalent complaints is that “healthy tastes so bland/bad.”

I understand where they’re coming from, but they’ve got it backward: nutritious food doesn’t have a bland flavour; their tongues have dulled. Take, for example, a bag of potato chips. Potatoes, vegetable oil, and a pinch of salt are the only ingredients. Add a load of extra-strong artificial flavouring and boosted spices if you’re eating one of those flavoured bags of chips.

Manufactured food is created to make you feel good, not improve your health. All fast-food enterprises, whether burger franchises, pizza franchises, cake bakeries, or bread bakeries, hire scientists and food engineers whose duty is to improve the taste of their products. They create artificial flavouring that is too powerful for your tongue and brain to tolerate, to the point where it is physiologically addicting and dulls your taste senses.

Reasons Why Healthy Food Taste Bad

  • Food that is good for you doesn’t have a marketing budget.

It’s also feasible that what we consider “tasty” is influenced by external factors. Aside from our fatty, salty, and sweet appetites, we may like unhealthy food simply because we’re instructed to. Dan Ariely, a marketing professor and best-selling book, discovered in his studies that situational elements can easily impact people’s choices. He uses Tom Sawyer as an example, who famously persuaded many children to help him paint a fence. He appeared to be having a great time, and they couldn’t wait to join in the “fun” and do his work!

Marketers employ the same technique to make strangely tweaked foods into ones we want. They make multi-party burgers that are enormous and oozing and look macho. They say “we’re lovin'” at McDonald’s and encourage us to twist open bliss in a Coca-Cola bottle.

Marketers have established the misconception in many people’s brains that junk food is tasty and healthy food is gross, similar to the myth that junk food is cheaper than good food. Unfortunately, when it comes to advertising money, it’s junk food 1 nutritious food.

  • Perhaps you’re consuming the incorrect healthy foods.

Many people claim that after they stop eating junk food for a while, it loses its appeal, and they begin to appreciate the subtler flavours of natural foods.

Nonetheless… Carrots and green salads don’t seem to light up the pleasure centres in my brain. I like broccoli, beans, and spinach, but I’m not a huge fan. And no matter how much plain oatmeal or 100 percent whole-wheat bread I consume, they’ll always taste bad to me.

This is where good supplies of the things our brain craves — sugar, fat, and salt — might help. A pinch of salt, a sprinkling of feta, and a drop of olive oil may make vegetables addictive. Oatmeal or yogurt with fruit and jam or honey is delicious.

Michael Pollan, author of “Food Rules,” believes that nutritious airplane food into our mouths under the pretext of better healthy food in moderation is fine. (See how you can obtain enough vegetables to lose weight in other ways)

Finally, if you still find the most nutritious foods to be unpleasant, you may not be eating high-quality food. Organic, fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, grass-fed beef, and free-range chicken and eggs are all known to be particularly tasty and vivid.

Why do you Dislike the Taste of Healthy Food?

Because you’ve forgotten about your natural eating tendencies. Most of us were raised on a Standard American diet of highly processed packaged foods with a high level of chemicals and sugar, and our taste buds are only familiar with certain foods.

Those foods are also so high in hidden sugar that you don’t notice how addicted you are to them until you stop eating them and detox your body. This is something I discovered in my sugar experiment a few months back, and I’m no longer able to consume sweet foods. They have a disgusting flavour, and the sugar high they give me makes my head spin.

If you go cold turkey from a processed food diet to healthy eating, you can anticipate puking all over it and go back to your previous eating methods. So, how can you switch to a healthier diet if the stuff you’re eating doesn’t taste good?

How to Make Good-Tasting Healthy Food?

If you think healthy food tastes bland, your tongue has become dull, and if you ever want to enjoy natural foods again, you’ll need to allow your tongue some time to recover.

Give it 30 days (or at least one week) of no artificial foods to witness the difference. This means you’ll have the following for the next 30 days:

There is no sugar (at least not processed sugar). Natural sugars, such as those found in fruit, can be consumed.)

There isn’t anything with high fructose corn syrup in it.

Nothing that contains artificial flavouring (soft drinks, sauces, condiments, instant noodles, etc.)

There are no artificial sweeteners in this recipe (exception for whey protein)

There’s nothing with a lot of salt in it (there go your potato chips and french fries)

If you find healthy foods bland, I can almost guarantee you’re addicted to artificial sweetness and flavour. You may not be able to go 30 days without them (which should be alarming in and of itself), but even if you manage to go just one week without them, you’ll notice that real food, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses, meat, and so on, tastes much better than before. In fact, they’re delicious!

(If resisting packaged foods is too difficult for you, stop buying them.) If it’s not in the fridge when you’re hungry, you can’t eat it.)

In a month, your tongue will have recovered sufficiently to allow you to eat natural foods once more. Even after completing the 30-day challenge, you should avoid these items as much as possible because even one meal of these highly flavoured packaged goods can dull your taste receptors for a few days.

What Makes Unhealthy Food So Delicious?

Why is it that healthy food isn’t tasty, but junk food is? There’s a simple reason behind this. It’s because it’s designed to be that way. Yes, that’s correct. It tastes good when you buy something from a fast-food restaurant, the snack foods section, or even something from a box. manufacturers use researchers, chemists, and engineers to create delicious processed foods and food-like substances. The pros know just what proportions of salt, sugar, and fats to use to create something wonderful that you’ll want to eat again and again. They also add artificial flavours, such as MSG, to improve the taste.

How Can I Persuade Myself to Eat Healthier Foods?

You might be astonished to learn that you can educate your brain to enjoy those vile vegetables! We can teach our brain to unlearn just as we can teach it to learn. You can accomplish this in a variety of ways, including:

Use Healthy Substitutes: Make healthy foods appear unhealthy to trick your mind into preferring them. For sandwiches, use lettuce instead of bread, sweet potato fries instead of ordinary potatoes, oat or almond flour instead of all-purpose flour, etc. These alternatives are low in calories and high in fibre, which is beneficial to the body.

In general, oil is hazardous to the heart. Instead of frying, try baking or using an air fryer, which uses less oil and does the same purpose.

Remove the rice and replace it with cauliflower fried “rice,” consisting solely of the grated vegetable, chicken breast, and other greens. Make a treat out of your yogurt by freezing it.

Don’t rush: You won’t be able to taste the healthful improvement in only one day. Trying to like something that tastes unpleasant takes time, just like any other learning process.

Gradually incorporate veggies and other greens into your diet. Begin by designating a single meal of the day that consists solely of healthful foods. Then, you may gradually add more nutritious options to your lunch and supper menus as time goes on.

Positive Surroundings: If all you can see is nutritious food, that’s exactly what you’ll consume. Stop buying junk food and make sure your refrigerator is regularly stocked with fresh produce. Remove all of your phone’s food-delivery apps. You won’t be tempted to buy takeout this way.

How to Reduce Junk Food Consumption?

Now that we know why unhealthy foods taste so good let’s look at some approaches to cut down on our consumption.

Look for a different source of dopamine.

As previously stated, foods high in fats and carbohydrates provide the greatest dopamine spike, making you feel good.

But it doesn’t have to be like this.

If you find other healthy strategies to stimulate dopamine, you won’t have to rely on junk food to get pleasure out of your day.

So, to get you started, here are a few simple strategies to increase your dopamine levels:

  • Exercise
  • Begin a new interest.
  • Shower in chilly water.
  • Make big ambitions for yourself.
  • Find out something new.
  • Get in touch with a friend.
  • Complete a difficult assignment

Use Spices and Herbs

Numerous herbs and spices can be used to add flavour to any dish.

Even something as simple as Chicken and Broccoli can be enhanced by adding Cayenne pepper.

Natural herbs and spices, unlike MSG, are actually beneficial to your health!

Make the switch to cold turkey.

This is for individuals who enjoy a good challenge.

Your gut bacteria will improve over time if you simply stop eating junk food, and you will gradually crave it less.

However, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, cravings, lethargy, and moodiness in the first few weeks.

So, if you had to choose between 2 weeks of feeling terrible and a lifetime of healthy eating, which would you choose?

I am convinced that I would.

What Are Some Healthy Items That Taste Good?

Strawberries

  • Strawberries are incredibly juicy and have a sweet, delectable flavour.
  • Vitamin C, manganese, folate, potassium, antioxidants, and plant components are abundant.
  • Strawberries have 3 grams of fibre and only 46 calories per cup (145 grams).
  • Strawberry consumption has been related to enhanced heart health, blood sugar control, and cancer prevention.
  • Try dipping the berry tip in melted dark chocolate if you don’t like them.

Blueberries

  • Blueberries are a bright, nutrient-dense, and tasty fruit.
  • Blueberries have only 84 calories per cup (150 grams) but 4 grams of fibre.
  • It’s also high in vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese, among other vitamins and minerals.
  • Blueberries are an antioxidant superfood that may help older folks remember things better and prevent them from oxidative damage and chronic diseases.
  • They’re great served fresh or frozen, and they’re especially good when blended with yogurt or full-fat cream.

Chocolate (dark)

  • Numerous studies have shown dark chocolate to be extremely healthful and lessen your risk of various ailments.
  • It’s high in fibre, antioxidants, and minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese.
  • Dark chocolate contains plant chemicals that have been demonstrated to boost blood pressure and cognitive function and protect against heart disease and the detrimental effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
  • Eat dark chocolate with a cocoa level of at least 70%–85% to reap the best health benefits.
  • A decent cup of coffee and a piece of dark chocolate are a match made in heaven.

Almonds

  • Almonds are the king of crunchy snacks. They’re high in heart-healthy fats, incredibly nutritious, and don’t need to be cooked.
  • Almonds are high in antioxidants and include a lot of fibre, protein, and vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium.
  • They may lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and LDL (bad) cholesterol oxidation, all risk factors for heart disease.
  • Despite their high fat and calorie content, they’re also incredibly filling. According to one study, eating almonds as part of a weight-reduction diet enhanced weight loss by as much as 62 percent.
  • If you’re seeking something sweet, stuff 2–3 almonds into a date for a delicious snack.

How Long does it Take for your Tastes to Change?

Once you’ve decided on a goal, keep in mind that achieving it will take time. If you want to try a new cuisine, you’ll probably have to eat it a few times before developing a taste. According to a 2010 study, youngsters who despised a vegetable at first could grow to appreciate it after trying it eight or nine times. Buckingham says that grownups aren’t much different from children in her experience.

Reduce the amount of sugar, butter, or salt you use gradually over several weeks if you want to adjust your cooking habits to incorporate less of them. Buckingham recommends lowering the item consistently across all of your meals to assist your taste buds in quickly acclimatizing.

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants who reduced the amount of salt in their food could change how much salt they enjoyed within 24 weeks. Participants preferred low-salted food at the end of the research.

According to research published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Research, people who followed a low-fat diet for 16 weeks lost their desire for high-fat meals while increasing their want for low-fat foods.

“Learning to prefer healthy meals is like learning anything else new: it takes a lot of practice, and sustainable change takes time,” Buckingham said.

Conclusion

Most unhealthy foods, such as processed and packaged foods, restaurant meals, and fast food, are high in sugar, fat, and salt, and it’s a lot more than we’d use at home to season our actual whole foods.

This is a problem since we can’t stop ourselves from eating these foods, and they activate our brain’s pleasure regions. While certain serotonin-stimulating meals can make us feel good, nothing compares to the drug-like impact we receive from eating a lot of sugar, salt, and fat. At least at first, the more, the merrier.

Is it possible that humans are the same? Are we becoming less sensitive to the nuanced flavours of healthier meals as we consume more junk food? The more salt, fat, and sugar we need, the more we need them in large quantities.