Unless you live in the woods, grow and hunt for your own food, your palate, your ability to appreciate natural foods has been damaged. As discussed previously, your palate is like a thermostat. Give it artificially sweetened foods and the set point, like the temperature setting on your thermostat is raised. What this means is that the pleasure you could be getting from natural fruits like blueberries is diminished. It’s really quite simple, just give your palate a rest from overly sweet foods for a couple of weeks and you will see that your appreciation for mother natures bounty is increased. You will be healthier as well. Many artificial sweeteners are toxic.
This doesn’t just pertain to sweetness, it’s also important for salt. One anecdote that really comes to mind. I had a patient that I saw for a drug reaction in the hospital. He was in the hospital for malignant hypertension. After he was discharged, he came back to see me to follow up on the rash and he said to me that he needed to stop eating so much salt but nothing tasted good without salt. I explained this principle to him and understanding it, had the motivation to stop for two weeks, as I told him “Your palate will wake up in a couple weeks, and you will start appreciating foods without so much salt.” He came back ecstatic, the principle worked for him and he now knows he has more control over himself than before.
As an aside, there seems to be a lot of misinformation on the internet now stating that salt is not dangerous at all. Well, for some it isn’t as dangerous as once thought but if you have a specific variant of the ACE gene which many have, your risk for high blood pressure is greatly increased with increased sodium intake.
As you can imagine, this thermostat like function of your palate is also impacted with fatty foods as well. In this case there is also a genetic variant here as well, called the CD36 gene. On top of this is the brain effects of the combination of excessively fatty, sugary, salty foods that cause your brain to release dopamine and experience pleasure, when it is bad for your body.
My point discussing these is to show you that with only a little knowledge, you can see you have quite a bit of control over this and you don’t need more than a couple of weeks to prove it to yourself. Cut out all artificial sweeteners for 2 – 3 weeks, then take a bite of an apple or have some berries, and you will taste the difference. While sodium is a required nutrient, try reducing your sodium for a few weeks, and taste some celery and you will note how naturally salty it tastes.
This experiment is easy and is only a few weeks long but the knowledge you have for your body and the reserve of motivation you have will be well worth it. Become your own authority, you are your own best doctor.
If you are interested in testing your gene’s or have done 23andme and would like a review of your results, just contact me.