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Randy's avatar

Why is it that many unhealthy foods taste so good?

Asked by Randy (11163 points ) April 9th, 2008 from iPhone

I was just wondering why junk, deep fried, sugar coated, ect. foods taste so good. There are healthy foods that taste good too, but it seems that unhealthy, although bad for you, tastes good. Anyone else agree or know why?

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11 Answers

TheHaight's avatar

I really just think it could all be to do with the way we were brought up…seriously, my mom gave my siblings and I MICKEY D’S….and we thought those happy meals were Amazing!! but say like.,...we were brought up on healthy food, maybe we’d think that was more delicious???

lovelyy's avatar

i believe it is the way we are raised. when i was growing up i was taught that fast food was last resort, as i grew older i wanted fast food any time i wanted knowing that i should just look in the pantry. all in all, they give you the junk or they don’t you still want it.

delirium's avatar

http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20080329/fob3.asp

You might find that both interesting and pertinent.

Randy's avatar

Wow delirium, that is really interesting. It makes sense why people have a hard time sticking to diets. I wonder though, how they made it so the mice had no taste, smell or ability to feel oral texture.

luminous00's avatar

its called mickie d’s, hah, the mice STILL loved it.

wildflower's avatar

We have a saying…(it doesn’t translate terribly well)
“everything nice is: unhealthy, immoral or fattening”

RAMesesII's avatar

Well, from what I understand, it’s an evolutionary thing.
Back when food was not so easily accessable, we ate as much as we could when we could, because there was no promise of having another ‘meal’ for a long time. So things that had alot of energy value, like fats, sugars, we tried to eat more of, in order to stay alive and have a way to survive times when food was scarce.
Being omnivores, we ate plants as well, and eating a poisonous plant was potentially lethal. Over time, our bodies learned to identify those potentially harmful substaces, (usually basic (remember chemistry?) in nature) and developed a way to warn us before we ate them. Acids were similar, but because they were not as toxic, and were in some cases benevolent for us, they were given a different identifier.
Spicy, however, is a case of our taste buds actually burning, and the sensation if them dying is percieved as spicy/hot.

So, sugars=energy boost=sweet
fats=long term energy
so they tasted ‘good’ since they are most important. On the other hand…
acids=middle ground, but potentially lethal=sour
bases/poisons=lethal=bitter
spicy=burning taste buds=hot
Hope this answer helps.

hairypalm's avatar

They might sprinkle crack on our food and we become addicted. lol

mzgator's avatar

We like them better because they taste better. Fat gives good flavor to food. In south Louisiana, people fry food in lard. They do not trim fat off of meat. One of the favorite family meals is rice and gravy, which is basically pan frying meet, putting water in with the meat and rendered fat (grease) and serving it over rice.

Don’t get me satrted on sugar….my Dad has coffee with his sugar every morning!

nikipedia's avatar

To build on RAMesesll’s point:

Imagine a pack of early homo sapiens wandering around the tundra. Food is scarce. Lots of you starve to death.

Now let’s imagine you have a mutant homo sapien. This mutant enjoys fats and sugars much, much more than the other homo sapiens, who don’t really find any difference between eating plants and eating sugary, fatty things. Caveman #1 is going to eat a lot more of these high-calorie foods and store them as fat, which means Caveman #1 is going to have a better chance of survival, which means a better chance of breeding, which means this mutant gene for loving fats and sugars gets passed on to Caveman #1’s offspring. And these offspring will share their father’s proclivity for fats and sugars.

Fast-forward 52,000 years to a society where we can eat whatever want whenever we want and we still have this caveman urge toward fat and sugar with no restrictions on our access to them.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Most Americans have big-time sugar addictions and they don’t even realize it. Corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup are in an alarming number of foods you buy at the store, including bread that markets itself as wholesome and healthy. We intake so much sugar every day that when our levels drop, we feel low, lethargic, cranky, crappy, then when we get more sugar, our mood improves and we feel better. This creates a feedback loop of sugar addiction.

An example of this is Morgan Spurlock in “Super Size Me”; he points out that most of the menu items contain sugar and when he was weeks into the experiment, he got physically ill until he ate McDonald’s again, then he felt worlds better.

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