Why is it that everything that tastes good bad for you?
I’ve pondered this question a lot. My kids suggest that “they” should make broccoli taste good if they want people to eat it. And while I’m sure there is at least one scientist out there trying to make broccoli taste like cotton candy, I think that understanding how our taste buds work and what we can do to manipulate our tastes will go much farther to getting good foods on our plates than any genetically altered broccoli.
There are two reasons why foods that are good for you don’t also taste good. Let’s take a look.
Your Taste Buds Have Been Altered
The first reason why everything that is good for you tastes like cardboard is because your taste buds have been altered. The question you have to ask yourself is who changed your taste buds? The quick answer to that question is : The food you eat. If you are like most people, the food you eat is all high in fat, sugar, and salt and when you eat foods that are all high in sugar, fat and salt your taste buds change.
The easiest way to understand this is to imaging that everything you drink is either vodka or whisky. Imagine if you had been drinking vodka or whisky ever since you were a child. How do you think water would taste to you? When you are drinking a high-octane drink like hard alcohol for your whole life, your taste buds get used to it and everything else is going to taste bland and boring.
Your Addictions Run Your Life
The second reason why everything that is good for us doesn’t taste good is that many of the foods you eat you are addicted to. Foods like sugar, milk and milk products, coffee and even meat all have addictive qualities to them. When you eat a food that you are addicted to it changes your brain in some way; it usually makes you feel better. Broccoli will not do this.
We are attracted to sugary-salty-fatty foods in ways that we aren’t attracted to carrots, apples and Brussels sprouts.
When all the foods you are eating are super strong tasting (like whisky) then of course you are going to think that real and fresh foods taste like junk. But just as if you were drinking alcohol every day, your body is ruined by these foods that are high in sugar, fat and salt. If you add the mood-altering aspect of your food addictions and you are guaranteed to never put something fresh in your mouth.
What Can You Do?
While you probably don’t believe me, your tastes can change. The only way they are going to change, though is to stop eating foods high in sugar, fat and salt. All you need is a few weeks away from the super strong tasting foods before your taste buds come back and you start enjoying the sweetness of foods like carrots or avocados (yes, these are sweet foods).
While it is difficult, you can do it (see my 30 Sugar Free Days Program for help) and once you make the transition from processed foods to real foods your taste buds will change back and you will find yourself enjoying foods like broccoli once again.