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Want to Eat Less? Pump Up Food Aroma

Sensory cues affect how much people eat when they sit down to a meal. For example, research shows foods that are creamier or thicker in texture increase feelings of satiety. That’s why a smoothie is more filling than a glass of milk. Even the color and size of plate you eat on has an impact on appetite and satiety. Red, yellow or orange plates stimulate appetite while eating from blue or green plates subtly reduces your motivation to eat. Size matters too. People feel satisfied with smaller portions when they eat off of a small plate. Now a study shows that the way a food smells is another sensory cue that affects satiety.

Strong Aroma = Smaller Bites?

When people eat foods with a strong aroma, they take smaller bites. That’s according to a study published in the journal Flavours. Researchers in the Netherlands discovered that people use bite size to control how much flavor they get when they take a bite and that’s influenced by a food’s smell. They made this discovery by using a special machine to deliver custard to hungry participants. The participants were able to control the size of the bites they ate, and researchers were able to vary the strength of the custard’s aroma. They found when the aroma of the custard was strong – the participants took bites that were 5% smaller.

Why might this be? Foods that have a strong aroma are perceived as being more flavorful, and when people eat them they unconsciously take smaller bites to control the amount of flavor they get with each mouthful. On the other hand, when people bite into foods that have little aroma, they take a bigger bite to compensate – to experience more flavor. Even after the strong aroma has diminished, they continue to take smaller bites. Why is this important? When you take smaller bites or slow down the pace of their meal, you generally eat less. Changing the aroma of food could be a simple way to reduce bite size, calorie intake and increase satiety.

Add More Flavor to Your Food

Adding more flavor to foods in general should reduce bite size since people take smaller bites when a food is more flavorful. Adding flavorful spices to food, especially ones with a powerful aroma may cause you to eat fewer overall calories and feel more satisfied with each bite. Researchers believe that this simple strategy could reduce the amount of food people eat at a meal by as much as 10%…

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