Often debated and completely subjective, the taste of natural foods and how they compare to more conventional options is an ongoing conversation. Price and perception of health can impact how any food is thought of when it comes to judgment of flavor and overall taste. Adding gourmet to a description, calling out secret ingredients and even special sauce can add intrigue and a unique appeal to the most mundane meals. However, in the case of natural foods, the ingredients that are missing are what make them taste so good.
Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin and sucralose are often used in conventionally prepared foods. Most are much sweeter than real sugar, and some speculate that, along with impacting the taste of food, they can impact the metabolism and how well the thyroid functions.
Nitrates are a preservative found in most processed meats like lunch meat, hot dogs, bacon, ham and sausage. Nitrates also come in higher levels in smoked meats. Nitrate-free versions of all are readily available at most supermarkets. Without the addition of the additive, the natural flavor of the food is allowed to shine through.
Artificial flavors, or flavor enhancers, are intended to boost the flavor of the food. Ingredients like monosodium glutamate, or MSG, can be found in all kinds of convenience foods like salad dressing, canned pasta, soup and even ice cream. Artificial ingredients like MSG change the flavor of your food and may even impact the chemistry of your brain and your body’s hunger cues.
Partially hydrogenated soybean oil is added to many foods to offer a distinct mouth feel and flavor that is common to popular snack foods like cookies, chips and even ice cream. Hydrogenated oils come packed with high levels of saturated fat, which causes cholesterol levels to rise. Hydrogenated soybean oil may also depress the thyroid, impacting energy levels.
Added all together, the overall impact of artificial sweeteners, flavors, preservatives and oils change the taste of food, and the impact that they can have on the brain’s chemistry can change the way the body regulates hunger and contribute to unhealthy food cravings. Foods without artificial flavors and preservatives offer familiar ingredients and clean, natural flavors. The true flavor of the foods you eat are allowed to shine through, leaving you with a happy mouth and happy body.