Study: Eating Less Fat Increases Fat Taste Sensitivity

When people stop eating sugar, their threshold for the taste of sweet goes down. They report that naturally-sweet foods, such as fruit, taste sweeter. Does the same hold true for fat? It appears so:

Dietary Fat Restriction Increases Fat Taste Sensitivity In People With Obesity, Obesity, 6 January 2016

Fat perception, which was measured as the discrimination ability to rank different fat concentration, significantly increased only in the low-fat (LF) diet group.

This was also interesting:

The present study found a positive relationship between BMI and fat taste thresholds at week 6 for both groups combined, such that those with a higher BMI had higher fat taste thresholds, i.e., they were less sensitive to fatty acids. Previous research has demonstrated similar associations between fat taste sensitivity and BMI.

A higher fat taste threshold means food would have to have more fat in it before the eater would say, “this tastes fatty.” It was just an association. But it makes sense, no? That someone with a high fat taste threshold would have a high BMI?

The low-fat group in this study were eating about 25% of their calories as fat. An average American diet gets around 32-35% of its calories from fat. So, you could call this a low-fat diet, relatively. But the low-fat vegan diet I talk about, which includes no added oils or fats, gets about 15% of its calories from fat. That’s similar to the Cuban’s diet during their “Special Period” when food imports were restricted, and more than the traditional Okinawan diet. Imagine how sensitive you would be to fat if you were eating these very low fat diets?

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