sugar, fat, salt… mmm… the basic desires of our taste buds.
Have you ever chowed down on a bag of potato chips? Lays didn’t lie. Betcha can’t eat just one. I certainly couldn’t. What even makes them soo great?! And why do they all look the same?! After I caught myself munching on one too many jordan almonds, my mind started to cultivate a few thoughts… is this snack really even that tasty? Is it the flavor or the texture, the crunch, that keeps me grabbing another one?
Currently, a book that has peaked my interest is The End of Overeating. Sounds like I’m preaching to an overeaters group but it’s not all about that. The book is about how the SAD CRAP diet is full of salt, sugar, and fat. Exactly what our taste buds want. So we keep eating, and eating, and eating.
Fast food chains know this, they want us to keep coming back. Here’s a great excerpt:
“Higher sugar, fat, and salt make you want to eat more,” a high-level food industry executive told me. I had already read this in the scientific literature and heard it in conversations with neuroscientists and psychologists. Now an insider was saying the same thing.
My source was a leading food consultant, a Henry Ford of mass-produced food who had agreed to part the curtain for me, at least a bit, to reveal how his industry operates. To protect his business, he did not want to be identified.
But he was remarkably candid, explaining that the food industry creates dishes to hit what he called the “three points of the compass.” Sugar, fat, and salt make a food compelling, said the consultant. They make it indulgent. They make it high in hedonic value, which gives us pleasure.
“Do you design food specifically to be highly hedonic?” I asked.
“Oh, absolutely,” he replied without a moment’s hesitation. “We try to bring as much of that into the equation as possible.”
During the past two decades there has been an explosion in our ability to access and afford highly palatable foods. Restaurants—where Americans spend 50 percent of today’s food dollar—sit at the epicenter of this explosion.
Countless new foods have been introduced in restaurants, and most of them hit the three points of the compass. Sugar, fat, and salt are either loaded onto a core ingredient (such as meat, vegetable, potato, or bread), layered on top of it, or both. Deep-fried tortilla chips are an example of loading—the fat is contained in the chip itself. When a potato is smothered in cheese, sour cream, and sauce, that’s layering.
I asked the food consultant to describe the ingredients in some foods commonly found in popular restaurants today.
Potato skins, for example: Typically the potato is hollowed out and the skin is fried, which provides a substantial surface area for what he calls “fat pickup.” Then some combination of bacon bits, sour cream, and cheese is added. The result is fat on fat on fat on fat, much of it loaded with salt.
Buffalo wings start with the fatty parts of a chicken, which get deep-fried. Then they’re served with creamy or sweet dipping sauce that’s heavily salted. Usually they’re par-fried at a production plant, then fried again at the restaurant, which essentially doubles the fat. That gives us sugar on salt on fat on fat on fat. … “Chicken breast allows us to suspend our guilt because it suggests a low-fat dish, and the celery sticks also hint at something healthy.”
“Spinach dip” is a misnomer. The spinach provides little more than color and a bit of appeal; a high-fat, high-salt dairy product is the main ingredient. It’s a tasty dish of salt on fat.
Chicken tenders are so loaded with batter and fat that my source jokes that they’re a UFO—an unidentified fried object. Salt and sugar are loaded into the fat.
Do your taste buds even know what a carrot fresh from the garden tastes like?
If you are the average person consuming processed food then maybe not.
I’m not even talking about a baby carrot. The ones that have been formed into bite sized sticks. How many of those baby carrots can be made from one regular sized carrot? What do they do with the rest of the carrot? How wasteful.
Ever heard of SAD CRAP?
Diet… consists of…
Caffeine & Carbonated beverages
Refined sugars, Refined flours (not whole grains!)
Additives (colors/preservatives), Alcohol, and
Some might consider me a health freak. When people find out my background is in nutrition, they always say ‘Wow, you must be healthy’. I like to think so but I’m also not one to pass up some (coconut milk) ice cream. Obviously I enjoy treats as much as the next person which is why Eat it Up, Buttercup is even here. I don’t condone depriving yourself, but don’t go overboard. If you need a sweet (or salty) treat then let yourself have it so you don’t go insane and eat everything else in sight, trying to make up for what you are really craving.
Hope that made you stop and think just a little bit…