The way you experience the sense of taste has been divided into three categories: supertasters (25 per cent of people), medium tasters (50 per cent of people), and non-tasters (25 per cent of people). If you're a supertaster you experience food more fully, whereas non-tasters won't experience the same boldness of flavour. Dr Susan Albers, writing for Psychology Today, suggests that the way you experience taste may ultimately play a role in (future) health issues.Photo by Mike McCune
While getting the full pleasure out of food may be fun, supertasters have an increase risk of cancer, particularly colon cancer. This is mainly because they are very sensitive to bitter foods, which may make them avoid certain good-for-you vegetables that are bitter in taste like broccoli. Instead, supertasters are also drawn to sodium and therefore use more salt. In theory, supertasters may be using more salt to mask the bitter taste of foods. This increases their risk for a heart attack.
If you fall into this camp, Dr Albers suggests eating meals more slowly to pay attention to the way you eat. You may not realise the amount of salt you're adding to your food, for example. If you do love salt, there are two things I do to reduce my salt intake that might help. First, I don't add salt while cooking but only after the food is cooked. I add it on top and never mix it in. When you do this, your tongue will interact with the salt directly so you'll get the strong flavor and won't need as much. I also purchase higher quality salts (such as white truffle salt and Maldon sea salt), which really don't cost much more, and are more flavourful so you get the same impact with much less.
Not sure if you're a supertaster? Want some other suggestions for eating mindfully? Be sure to check out the full post at Psychology Today. If you've got some suggestions of your own, be sure to share them in the comments.
Are you a Supertaster? Mindless Eating & Your Taste Buds [Psychology Today]