Monday, November 28, 2022

People’s basic food choices may be smarter than previously thought

People's basic food choices may be smarter than previously thought

Pioneering research has shed new light on what drives people’s basic food preferences, showing that our choices may be smarter than previously thought and influenced by specific nutrients, as opposed to just calories, we need.

The international study, led by the University of Bristol (UK), set out to re-examine and test the widely held view that humans have evolved to favor energy-dense foods and that our diets are based on a variety of different foods. Eating foods that are balanced. Contrary to this belief, its findings showed that people have “nutritional wisdom” to choose foods to meet our need for vitamins and minerals and avoid nutrient deficiencies.

The results of our study are extremely important and rather surprising. For the first time in nearly a century, we have shown that humans are more sophisticated in their food choices, and choose based on specific micronutrients, rather than just eating everything and getting what they need by default.”

Jeff Brunstrom, lead author, professor of experimental psychology

paper published in the journal hunger, gives new weight to bold research conducted in the 1930s by an American pediatrician, Dr. Clara Davis, who put a group of 15 children on a diet that allowed them to “self-select” In other words, they can eat whatever they want. 33 different foods. While none of the children ate the same combination of foods, they all achieved and maintained a good state of health, which was taken as evidence of “nutrition knowledge”.

Its findings were later scrutinized and criticized, but it was not possible to duplicate Davis’s research because today this form of experimentation on infants would be considered unethical. As a result, it has been almost a century since any scientist has attempted to find evidence for nutritional knowledge in humans – a faculty that has also been found in other animals, such as sheep and rodents.

To overcome these obstacles, Professor Brunstrom’s team developed a new technique that involved measuring preference by showing people images of pairs of different fruits and vegetables in order to analyze their choices without risking their health or wellbeing. To be.

A total of 128 adults participated in the two experiments. The first study showed that people like certain food combinations more than others. For example, apples and bananas may be picked slightly more often than apples and blackberries. Remarkably, these preferences are predicted by the amount of micronutrients in a pair and whether their combination provides a balance of different micronutrients. To confirm this, he conducted a second experiment with different foods and ruled out other explanations.

To complement and cross-check these findings, real-world food combinations reported in the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey were studied. Similarly, these data suggest that people combine food in a way that increases the exposure of micronutrients to their diet. In particular, components of popular UK food, for example ‘fish and chips’ or ‘curry and rice’, offer a wider range of micronutrients than randomly generated food combinations, such as ‘chips’. And curry.

The study is also notable because it has an unusual association. Professor Brunstrom Co-authored is Mark Schatzker, a journalist and author, who is also author-in-residence at the Modern Diet and Physiology Research Center affiliated with Yale University. In 2018, the two met at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior in Florida, where Schatzker gave a talk about his book, The Dorito Effect, which examines the way in which whole foods and processed foods are consumed. How tastes have changed, and the implications for health and wellness.

Interestingly, the research of Professors Brunstrom and Mark Schatzker began with a disagreement.

Professor Brunström explained: “I noticed that Mark made a fascinating point that challenged the view gained among behavioral nutrition scientists that humans do indeed look for calories in food. He pointed out that, for example, fine wine, scarce Spices and wild mushrooms are highly sought after but are a poor source of calories.

“It was all very tricky, so I finally went to see him and basically said: ‘Great point, but I think you’re probably wrong. Do you want to test it?’ This marked the beginning of this wonderful journey, which ultimately suggests I was wrong. Far from being a somewhat simple-minded generalist, as previously believed, humans have a discerning intelligence when eating nutritious food. When it comes to choosing.

Mark Schatzker said: “The research raises important questions, particularly in the modern food environment. For example, whether we have a cultural fixation with fad diets, which limit or restrict the consumption of certain types of foods, this diet Inhibits or disturbs “intelligence”. In a way we don’t understand?”

“Studies have shown that animals use taste as a guide to the vitamins and minerals they need. If taste plays a similar role to humans, we may end up with a false ‘sheen’ of nutrition.” Can complement junk foods like potato chips and fizzy drinks. Adding flavor to them. In other words, the food industry may be turning our nutritional knowledge against us, causing us to eat food that we would normally avoid. and thus may contribute to the obesity epidemic.”

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