In a perfect world, low-calorie food would taste just as good—if not better—than the regular full-fat variety. Alas, this is not a perfect world (war! poverty! the How I Met Your Mother ending!). And we'd be hard-pressed to find someone who prefers celery over gooey mac and cheese. The good news? A new study found that there's a proven way to make low-cal food taste a whole lot better: by spicing it up.
For the study, University of Colorado Denver researchers asked 148 adults, ages 18 to 65, to eat three different lunches over a period of three weeks and describe how much they liked each one. The first lunch was a full-fat meatloaf entrée with pasta and veggies on the side; the second lunch was a reduced-fat version with added spices and herbs; the third was the same reduced-fat meal sans spice. The results? The majority of the participants liked the reduced-fat lunch with spices just as much as the full-fat version—but they didn't like the reduced-fat meal as much without the spices and herbs.
Your lunch lesson: Adding spices and herbs to lower-calorie dishes can make them taste just as good as their higher-cal counterparts. For more info about how spicing it up can help you slim down, check out these articles:
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