Why can't you stop eating smooth and creamy peanut butter or resist the melty and gooey cheesy foods? Why do sauces make our foods so irresistable? Why can't we stop at one scoop of ice-cream but end up eating the entire pint? What do delicious sauces, creams, melty cheese, cotton candy, ice-cream and smooth peanut butters have in common and more importantly, why can't you stop eating them? Before insulin rises, hormones come into play or biomarkers change, what hijacks your brain before your body gets a chance to respond to the food you just ate? Next time you are eating a food and thinking, 'This is so creamy, melty and delicious', you may want to keep an eye out on how much you're consuming. Meet the silent assassin of any diet that you follow: Vanishing Caloric Density. We have a strong hunch that this mechanism has a strong part to play in overconsumption of foods.
Hijacking the mouthfeel is the first step for a food item to increase the caloric load of a food without the body even realizing it. When a food product melts in the mouth easily or liquifies, the brain thinks no calories were ingested. This is why you can keep eating smooth, liquidy and melty foods for a long time before reaching satiety on that food item. Even solid foods such as cheetos have this melting effect as they melt away in the mouth and leads to overconsumption without the consumer realizing it.
You might think foods made at home may be safe from such a behavior but that is not the case. Have you observed the difference between consuming fruits and the same fruits in the form of a juice/smoothie consistency? It's much easier to consume the latter due to a similar effect. The same principles can be applied to foods such as sugary and fatty sauces, butters and many other foods that come from the recipe books at your home. These sauces and blends can sneakily add into the foods and easily lead to overconsumption(even possible on a low carb, Ketogenic and carnivorous diets!) Humans didn't evolve with technologies that allowed foods with such consistency, caloric load and texture at the same time. Combine this with extreme palate switches, mass visual and auditory marketing of such foods and overriding the Sensory Specific Satiety(eg. you eventually stop eating pizza, no matter how delicious it is) through the "buffet effect", you have the ultimate storm of overconsumption and obesity. Welcome to the modern world in which we've replaced food scarcity with malnutritioned obese!
One of the small tweaks that could help with this is to ensure that the foods are not blended to an ultra smooth consistency which could lead to tricking the brain. Cutting down ultra smooth and ultra-processed heavy sauces, melty cheeses/butters and calorie dense drinks(yup, alcohol does have calories too... along with fat laced coffee) is another solution. As a rule of thumb if there are foods that are 'liquidy' and 'smooth', zero or extremely low calorie alternatives may be fine as they mimic the same impact as we're hard wired to have with such food consistency.
When we started making our Energy Pods, we were tempted to have a food scientest help us create foods that would be of the smoothest consistency ever. This would have worked out great for making the food super palatable but it would have led to overconsumption and we would have brought ourselves to square one. Instead, we have currently embraced a paste-like and textured feel for our Energy Pods which has aided, based on anecdotal observation, in inducing a satiety response from consuming the Pods. Additionally, bitter ingredients such as chocolate serve as a great limiting factor in the long run as they are difficult to overconsume. We also drastically reduced the sweeteners to give chocolate a more pronounced taste rather than focusing on reaching the "bliss point" of the food. For most people this has lead to an appetite suppression and high satiety impact.
Food overconsumption is a major issue in our country and the trend isn't going down any time soon. Processing foods has been part of human culture as man has used tools to domesticate and utilize nutrition from sources that weren't viable during earlier stages of human evolution. However, currently many of our fellow food companies are profiting off human impulses and subconcious behaviors which is something many of us aren't mindful of. At Ketogeek, our goal has been to not only educate you of such traps but also provide you food products that are geared to help you combat these problems. Unlike many of the food company CEOs who would never consume their own foods, we continue to not only consume our own products but also show you how to use them for your goals and continue to improve our products. It's time to give back people their appetite and provide nutritious foods that they can still enjoy. Consumers need to start demanding high quality foods because we did as for cheaper foods and we got them... along with diabetes, heart disease, various cancers and much much more! For us at Ketogeek, it's easy to create an addiction with food while focusing solely on taste and deliciousness but we'd be adding to the conflagration rather than alleviate the problem. Lets change the world.
Fahad is the founder of Ketogeek and hosts the Ketogeek Podcast, a world class health show about food, nutrition and health. He is into resistance training, Ashtanga yoga, calisthenics and various forms of training styles. Armed with a idealistic goals distilled in a world of realism, his goal is to help the world make a better place. He leads a life of extreme generalism or as he describes it, 'The Renaissance Lifestyle'.