New study finds taste preferences impact health

Individuals who have a high preference for sweets and a high aversion to bitter flavors may be at an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome, according to a new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill analyzed how two tasting profiles, sweet likers (SL) and supertasters (ST), interact and affect dietary intake and health, particularly . Metabolic syndrome is a name for a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for , stroke, and type-2 diabetes.

What researchers found is that those with both taste profiles or neither taste profiles were more likely to have an increased risk of metabolic syndrome compared to those who were only an SL or ST. The interaction between SL and ST was also significantly associated with fiber and suggesting that tasting patterns may have an effect on both dietary intake and disease risk.

The researchers recommend that more research be done to explore testing of these tasting profiles in order to assist with tailoring dietary interventions to prevent and treat metabolic syndrome.

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