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Why Junk Food Is Yummy!

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By Mr Pinpoint | Tue , Sep 20th , 2022

Have you ever wondered why junk food is so delicious? Why we find ourselves craving it although we know it’s not good for our health? Well, in this article, we’ll see the main reasons why people can’t resist these tempting mysterious foods.

A lot of research has been done to clear up the mystery. Scientists say that there are many reasons why people become addicted to fast food, but believe that the most important two are:

The Additives:

Fast food contains additives that are high in sugar and fat. These additives are one of the main reasons that junk food is so delicious. The high-sugar, high-sodium, and high-fat content in these fast meals also mean that they are high-taste, so to speak. These kinds of foods cause the brain to release certain neurotransmitters, called dopamine and oxytocin, which induce the feeling of relaxation, pleasure and enjoyment in an individual. That’s why such foods (that are high in sugar and fats, like cakes, pastries, burgers etc.) are called ‘comfort foods’.

Additionally, it has been scientifically proven that when one consumes foods that are high in fat and sugar, one’s cravings for such meals will increase. Meaning that the more you consume of these types of food, the more you end up craving for them.

Interestingly, this is also why the first few days on a healthy diet can feel like the worst and the hardest. Our bodies have become so accustomed to the high levels of fat, sugar, and salt in our daily meals that it is almost as if we’re “hungover”. This often leaves us irritable and moody. Once you’ve pushed past this “hangover” period, a healthy diet becomes much easier to adhere to.

The Smell

Most people underestimate the effect that smell has upon the taste of food. According to Professor Tom Finger, at the University of Colorado-Denver, the flavor is a combination of both taste and smell. Restaurants know that scents can induce cravings and they sometimes pump out artificial scents to draw you in, according to nutrition website Eat This, Not That. One company, ScentAir, actually manufactures artificial aromas that entice your nose. Not only will the smell of fryer get you in the door, it also makes the food more craveable.

Scientists say eating is something that we do with multiple senses. the way fast food looks, the memories it brings back, and the “mouthfeel”, which is a term they use to describe how texture and flavor combinations of food affect its taste, all bring joy to eaters. This is why thinking about biting into a juicy burger, paired with fries and melted cheese, is enough to get you salivating.

The scrumptious appearance, taste, mouthfeel, memories, and smell are all what cause junk food to attract us more than a home-cooked meal. However, one can also work towards making home-cooked dishes taste, look, and feel like a meal from a fast food chain. That way, you can achieve healthier meals that give you the same satisfaction as eating out. Additionally, making these meals at home also allow you to save a pretty penny as constantly eating out can burn a hole in your wallet!