Fast food is practically a staple among everyday Americans. With the overabundance of fast food restaurants, fast meals are widely available in different cuisines for any meal throughout the day. Getting takeout or dining there can make life extremely convenient. There’s no hassle of grocery shopping and there is no need to spend time cleaning up.
However, as you order fast meals time and time again, have you ever wondered why it is so delicious? Why we find ourselves craving it time and time again? What exactly is it about these oily, often unhealthy foods that keep us coming back for more?
Today we are going to explore the many reasons why fast food is so appealing to us. Additionally, we are going to clear up some questions as to why a healthy diet can be so difficult to stick to. Below are 5 reasons fast food tastes better than most other dishes.
Most people underestimate the effect that smell has upon the taste of food. According to Professor Tom Finger, at the University of Colorado-Denver, the flavor is a combination of both taste and smell.
This has a serious effect on how people perceive the taste of junk food. The alluring smell increases people’s sense of taste when they eat it, causing the experience to be more enjoyable. Many of us associate certain smells to memories. Fast food could easily remind us of childhood memories where a trip to McDonald’s might have been a familiar treat.
Mouthfeel is a term coined by scientists to describe the way that texture and flavor combinations of food affect how it tastes.
Such an interaction greatly influences whether or not eaters enjoy the food. In terms of fast food, companies strive to create the perfect level of mouthfeel, thus making them appetizing to consumers. This is one of the reasons why thinking about biting into a juicy burger, paired with fries, washed down with a creamy milkshake is enough to get you salivating.
Ingredients Added To Fast Food
Fast food contains additives that are high in sugar and fat. These additives are one of the main reasons that junk food is so delicious. The high-sugar, high-sodium, and high-fat content in these fast meals also mean that they are high-taste, so to speak.
Additionally, it has been scientifically proven that when one consumes foods that are high in fat and sugar, one’s cravings for such meals will increase. Meaning that the more you consume of these types of food, the more you end up craving for them. Why is everything that tastes so good so bad for us?
Interestingly, this is also why the first few days on a healthy diet can feel like the worst and the hardest. Our bodies have become so accustomed to the high levels of fat, sugar, and salt in our daily meals that it is almost as if we’re ‘hungover’. This often leaves us irritable and moody. Once you’ve pushed past this ‘hangover’ period, a healthy diet becomes much easier to adhere to.
As we’ve briefly mentioned, under the point about the smell and aroma of convenience grub, memories play a big part. Many of us that derive pleasure from the taste of junk food are ones who have built memories eating fast food as children with their families. Such positive memorable experiences have made eating fast food a more tasteful experience.
We link the taste and smells of these foods with simpler, happier times. This is why many of us might find the cravings for a particular chain creep in when we’re faced with particular emotions. During periods of high stress, for example, might lead to us wanting to throw our healthy diets out the windows.
It is important that when we are overcome with these feelings, that we learn to compromise! Studies have shown that giving in a little to your cravings allow you to keep to a particular diet longer. However, we should be mindful not to stray too far from a healthy, balanced diet.
The Appearance of Fast Food
Unlike traditionally homemade dishes, fast food usually looks fresh and pleasing to eat. Eating is more than just the taste of food; it is also the smell and appearance. Eating is something that we do with multiple senses.
The scrumptious appearance, taste, mouthfeel, memories, and smell are all what cause junk food to taste better than a home-cooked meal, for example. However, one can also work towards making home-cooked dishes taste, look, and feel like a meal from a fast food chain.
In striving to make these meals yourself, you can achieve healthier meals that give you the same satisfaction as eating out. Additionally, making these meals at home also allow you to save a pretty penny as constantly eating out can burn a hole in your wallet! Now if you’re feeling inspired, might we suggest trying your hand at some of our fast food favorites like Quick McDonald’s Copycat McChicken Recipe and Copycat Chick-fil-A Chocolate Milkshake Recipe?