Did you know that cells within the taste buds generally live only for 10-14 days. So about a 1/3 of taste buds cells die every 30 days, meaning that by 90 days you may have an entire new set of taste bud cells. In other words, you can train your taste buds to appreciate new flavors, to dislike intense sweetness/saltiness, and to enjoy foods that were once not appealing. Another interesting fact: companies that manufacture items that we call food such as this,
spend millions of dollars finding the right combination of chemicals to put into food items so we can crave them longer, think about them often, and buy them frequently. When was the last time you ate only one Lays Potato Chip? When that last Dorido is gone, do you look inside the bag in desperation? Mother nature only puts one ingredient in the food she makes like apples, bananas, tomatoes. So when our tastebuds are bombarded and romanced by fancy chemicals we call food, all the time, it becomes difficult for us to really enjoy and appreciate broccoli, grapes, spinach. In a study Conducted in 2014 at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, they found that 61% of our food and beverages are highly processed. That means the majority of the time we eat chemical experiments.
So how do you train taste buds cells to enjoy healthy food?
– Change out refined products for high fiber options.
Refined products are the #1 culprits in our highly processed diet: toast, bagels, pancakes, waffles, wraps, cereal, pasta, crackers, pretzels, cookies, and bread. These products contain while flour, sugar, and a variety of other ingredients that makes them have a high glycemic index. This means (as discussed in the Bagel Breakfast Post) that the white flour gets changed into sugar, spiking blood sugar very high, thus causing insulin to rise fast. When insulin rises too much and too fast, it shoves sugar into fat cells, the kind of fat cells the body has a difficult time accessing. Once sugar is shoved into fat cells, the blood sugar drops, leaving us hungry, cranky, fatigued, headachy, and craving more white flour items or more sugar. Change out these products with items that have whole wheat, brown rice, or oats as the first ingredient, But Read the Label for Fiber grams and %. The more fiber a product has, the slower it gets released into the blood stream as sugar. Thus, slower sugar and insulin spike, which in turn means less cravings, longer times between meals, less tiredness, fatigue, headaches.
Look at Fiber Content on Label
- Fiber >/= 3gm per serving.
- % of daily serving should be 12-15% as a good source of fiber.
- >15% is great.
– Gradually decrease your daily intake of juice, soda, sports drinks, sweet tea.
Based on multiple studies over the years, sugared drinks are the leading cause of obesity in children and teens. It is best to just stop buying juice (yes even 100% juice, organic juice, orange juice, and apple juice). Follow this link to get the low down on juices Bagel Breakfast Breakdown . Removing soda, sports drinks, sweet tea, and kool aid altogether is best. Water and Milk are ideal drinks. However, if the whining in the house is simply too much, or you and your kids simply cannot stand water, do a gradual dilution of sweet beverages.
Add water to the juice or sports drinks –
- Add 1oz of water to 7 oz of juice for 1-2 weeks,
- Once no one can tell the difference,
- Add 2oz water to 6 oz of juice for 1-2 weeks.
- And so on and so forth until you can get rid of it all together.
- For those who truly hate water, 1 oz of juice to 7 oz of water is not the end of the world. That counts as HUGE progress.
Another dilution option for Tea
- Add 1oz unsweetened tea to 7 oz of sweet tea for 1-2 weeks.
- Add 2oz unsweetened tea to 6oz of sweet tea for 1-2 weeks, and so on until you wean yourself and loved ones off sweet tea
- If you buy juice in gallon containers, begin the dilution immediately while unloading groceries. Add 1 oz of water to the gallon of juice. 2oz of water to the next gallon, and so one until its mostly water. Thus, the gallon of juice is already diluted before anyone gets any ideas.
- Attack Powerade and Gatorade in the same way.
- In 3 months from now when you drink a regular Gatorade, a Glass of Sweet Tea, or a glass of juice, your tastes buds will be shocked by the sweetness and your cravings will be significantly reduced. (see death of taste bud cells above)
Try seltzer water infused with different fruits
Make OJ or Lemonade at home – this way the juice will be full of fiber, vitamins, minerals.
– Add one or two Extra Fruit or Veggie a day
Most people I interview in clinic get their fruits or veggies with one meal, dinner.
Breakfast: Start adding a fruit with every breakfast, such as berries with the whole grain waffles, bananas with the whole wheat toast and nut butter.
Snacks: Generally snacks need most improvement in the fruit and veggie department. A great rule is: You must eat a fruit or veggie before any packaged snack like pretzles/popcorn/cheese stick. Eating something from the ground and nature teaches children to fill their bellies with a healthy snack before something that comes in a package and is less healthy. This way, they fill themselves up with fruits and veggies and you won’t have to continuously argue with them about too many chips. If they wish to have no fruit or veggie, then no snack. It simply means they are not hungry. The End!
Ideas: carrot sticks with ranch dip, apple slices with nut butter, yogurt with fruit and granola, strawberries dipped in a yogurt/Nutella dip. Keep fresh washed grapes sitting on you desk to satisfy a quick sugar fix naturally. Red juicy strawberries or carrot sticks are a great snack while making dinner. If fresh fruits are too expensive, purchase some frozen items that you can add to smoothies or as side dishes at lunch or dinner.
– Choose snacks with less then 5 ingredients.
Slowly finish what you have in your pantry and bring in new snacks that are less processed: 5 ingredients or less and you must be able to read it to eat it. If you struggle pronouncing one of the ingredients or you have to google an ingredient, then the snack is too processed. Put it back.
– choose ONE dessert to keep in the house.
Food made with white flour and sugar is highly addictive. When we eat these foods the receptors in our brain react the same way as if we did drugs like cocaine or smoked nicotine. The reward center in our brain becomes less affected by these foods over time, so the brain wants larger and larger quantities of these foods to be satisfied – Thus Cravings and Binge Eating. So, yes, it’s time to get the Halloween Candy out of the house.
In Good Health