Taste-y Tidbits
Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Taste-y Tidbits

Have you ever had a cold and eating wasn't any fun because you couldn't taste your food? Why is that? Because our sense of smell is connected to how we taste foods. We breathe in as we put food into our mouths, and that is the start of tasting the food.

We generally have 5 flavors that we taste:
  • Sweet
  • Salty
  • Sour
  • Bitter
  • Savory (also known as umami)
Try this little experiment. Take an orange and eat one section. Pay attention to the taste and aromas of the orange. Now plug your nose and take another section. Is your experience eating that orange section different? Now unplug your nose and close your eyes and eat another section and take a deep breath as you are doing it. Most people find that when they plug their nose, they are not able to smell and therefore taste the orange very well. However, when you breathe deeply and close your eyes, you are fully concentrating on the experience and all of the taste and textures going into that bite of food. You can do this experiment with any piece of food. Next time you have a nice rich piece of chocolate, close your eyes and enjoy every calorie!

In addition to the smell, we also taste food based on how it looks and how it feels. The visual aspect of food is highly important to many people. If a food doesn't look appetizing, it doesn't get eaten. Texture also plays a part. Many people won't eat shrimp or raisins or tofu because of the texture of these specific foods.

Tune in tomorrow for part 2 of taste when I will talk about how our taste evolves from the time we are in utero and how it influences how your kids eat.

Photo courtesy of Mike Burns
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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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