It pays to have great taste.
That’s the takeaway of several new studies on “super-tasters” – which is the term for the 1-in-4 people who literally have more taste buds on their tongue than the average person. All those extra taste buds help super-tasters perceive flavors more intensely than the rest of us. And it turns out, there are some health benefits that come with that.
For example: Super-tasters tend to weigh less. Researchers from the University of Florida say it’s because they get so much satisfaction from each bite of food, that they eat less than the average person. Plus, they don’t like the “slimy texture” of fat – so they tend to avoid fatty foods.
Another super-taster perk? They’re less likely to get sick from food poisoning. Scientists at Rutgers University say it’s because when you have a heightened sense of taste and smell, you’re more likely to detect food that’s gone bad – or that’s poisonous!
In fact, experts say a lot of “fussy eaters” are really just super-tasters in disguise. You might think they’re being fussy because they’re unhappy with the way food is cooked.
But the reality is that some flavors are too harsh - or even nauseating - for them to eat.
And that’s actually one of the few pitfalls of being a super-taster. Because according to a study in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences, super-tasters tend to avoid eating some of the healthiest foods around - like spinach or kale, for example – because they can’t stand the bitter taste.
So, how do you know if you’re a super-taster? Go ahead and eat a plateful of kale or drink a cup of dark roast coffee. Experts say there are chemicals in those that most people will find bitter, yet bearable. But to a super-taster, the flavor will be so strong, it’ll verge on disgusting!