[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
Are you present when you eat? Do you realize the bites you take? Are you watching your dish? Do you take the time to smell it before gulping it down? So many questions to ask yourself when you eat… And yet yes, tasting is a bit magical, it allows you to learn to taste and savor the foods you eat… In fact, it allows you to take a real pleasure to eat. Great, right?
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
Knowing how to taste means eating with a certain attention to yourself and the plate.
Tasting is essential for a good perception of our food sensations: it allows us to eat with greater awareness of our feelings of hunger and satiety and therefore to respond well to the needs of our body. Which means that it allows us to eat the appropriate quantities.
No more need for diet and food control with tasting… It does all the work! Yes Yes ! We have specific appetites that make us want to eat this or that food, at a given time, depending on our current needs (nutrients, vitamins and minerals). When we eat these desired foods and enjoy them they bring us greater taste pleasure. Ultimately, it’s quite simply the most natural way to achieve good dietary diversity and eat when we’re hungry.
All of this has the effect of finding your balance weight, that is to say the weight for which we are made if I may say so…
Don’t consider your food desires as common whims! No… I will teach you in this article to understand and respect them so that you become the gourmet of the table while respecting your correct weight.
Taste and the 5 flavors
The 5 flavors are sour, sweet, bitter, salty and umami. Please note that fat is currently a flavor that is being added to the 5 others. Other elements may vary such as: persistence in the mouth, aftertaste, etc.
What do flavors do for us? They allow us to identify the foods we have in our mouths thanks to our taste buds, located on our tongue. These flavors give our brain taste information for each food.
You know acid (e.g. lemon), bitter (e.g. coffee), sweet (e.g. jam), salty (e.g. olives), umami is the 5th flavor, imported from Japan which defines the taste of the food as tasty (difficult for us, French, to identify).
Our body and our language, thanks to its sensory sensors, identify foods based on their taste composed of odors, flavors, textures, temperatures, sounds… All this then becomes the identity card of the food that we construct ourselves and which constitutes its sensory image. For example: when you see a tomato you immediately “know” its taste, its texture, its temperature,… Well you can thank your brain for all that!
We feed on our taste sensations. By eating without paying attention to taste, without tasting, you will not experience taste fatigue or taste satiation and will tend to overeat foods that provide a lot of calories. So don’t respect your energy needs! Damage ! You will gain weight without realizing it.
The 5 senses and tasting
During tasting and in order for it to be complete and perfectly carried out, we need our 5 senses (having talked about taste above, I will explain the other 4 senses here):
- The sight which tells us the ripeness of a fruit, the maturation of a cheese… It is the visual pleasure which whets our appetite, the presentation of the plate plays a determining role in our desire to eat.
- Smell is the smells that we feel retro-nasally, the aromas of food in the mouth. Take the time to smell your plate and then let the smells express themselves in your mouth.
- Hearing which refers to the crunch of a baguette, the crunch of cereal…
- Touch allows us to assess the texture, consistency and temperature of a food, before and during tasting. We touch with our fingers yes, but also with our lips and our tongue.
Every time you eat, try to think about the senses that are engaged and the pleasure provided! The perception of taste and the pleasant feeling linked to tasting it play an essential role in your relationship with food. If you are conscious of what you eat, you will enjoy it and pay more attention when you are no longer hungry.
Eating well is therefore a crucial step in eating according to your needs; it is a fundamental tool for rebalancing your diet and maintaining your balanced weight.
The benefits of tasting
- Paying attention to your food sensations of hunger, satiety and satiation. So you will eat the right amount you need, no matter what food it is.
- The stimulation of your 5 senses and particularly taste. Your brain synthesizes more dopamine (the pleasure hormone) which gives you a very pleasant and relaxing feeling of well-being.
- Digestion which begins with chewing and continues in the mouth through the action of salivary amylases (digestive enzymes). When we digest better we feel light, comfortable and so much better, right?
Tasting helps reduce the feeling of guilt! Yes, since even if you are still in food control and you have difficulty detaching yourself from this notion of good and bad food, thanks to tasting you will eat the right amount you need, avoid overeating and so take full advantage of this moment of taste pleasure that you allow yourself.
The food brings all its pleasure in the first bites, then you will observe that the pleasure gradually diminishes. It’s when you say to yourself: “I’ve eaten enough of this food” that it’s the right time to stop! Yes, it’s there… You need to seize this moment, this thought and you will see that your relationship with the plate will transform!
You now have all the keys in hand to be able to taste your dishes like an oenologist tastes his wine. This has the effect of allowing you to find your right weight…
It’s up to you to play with your senses!