You can’t eat just one. Once you pop you can’t stop. We will keep you coming back for more.
These are all phrases associated with food. Maybe you have a favorite food or restaurant meal that always leaves you wanting more. Perhaps you have a favorite snack that leaves you craving more as the bag or box empties? When food products are formulated the company uses a method of food optimization. The bliss point is the number of ingredients such as salt, flavoring, or sugar that optimizes palatability for most consumers.
What is the Bliss Point in Food?
Finding the appropriate bliss point for a product will leave consumers craving the foodstuffs over and over again. This is actually a scientific process designed to pinpoint the combination of ingredients that will flash your neurological pleasure zones to create satisfaction. This is done in such a way that you do not want to stop eating the tasty treat. This can definitely but a kink in your healthy eating habits over time.
Why do we crave sugar salt and fat so much?
Scientists believe that human cravings for salt, fat, and sugar are based on a prehistoric need for survival when these things were necessary when food was scarce. Taste buds have receptors that are triggered by these ingredients and link to the brain’s pleasure zone. The brain then screams for more of the food that has offered so much pleasure. Some say the perfect combination of these ingredients is more addictive than nutrients that are actually good for the body in larger quantities.
Though sugar, fat, and salt may be obvious addictive ingredients, there are others that are just as addicting and often added to the foods we love and crave. Fast food often includes MSG or Casein which is often referred to as the nicotine of fast food. These fillers add flavor and increase the addictive properties of such foods while adding no nutritional value. Casein is typically found in cheese and cheese items which may become addicting without someone even noticing.
In moderation, these addictive foods are not necessarily bad for the consumer. However, healthier options are always the best. Knowing that certain additives can keep you coming back for more is the first step to choosing wisely. The second step is taking the time to read ingredient labels. These ingredients should be listed. If you find yourself craving a particular item, look at the label and see if it has some hidden addictive ingredients that keep you coming back for more. Be informed and it could easily lead to a healthier lifestyle.