Balancing your cuisine by using energetic foods, enhanced by an array of colors, tastes and textures can help you to feel more satisfied when eating smaller portions (also known as "satiety").
Do you ever notice when you eat a meal that is very garlicky or spicy, you desire something sweet afterwards? This is your palate asking to be balanced. Your tongue registers sweet, salty, sour, bitter, pungent and unami (Japanese for "pleasant savory taste"). It is important to utilize all of these different flavors and sensations to feel fully satisfied through what we consider the gustatory sense (taste). Your brain also registers textures like soft, hard, crunchy, chewy, etc. when you eat, so it’s always good to try different food combinations together for maximum enjoyment and nutrition.
Have you ever sat down to a meal made up of different shades of brown or different shades of green with no real contrast? Where is the joy in that? When you are trained in food service and culinary arts, you are trained that “plating” of food is a very important part of the overall dining experience. The use of garnishes and layering of foods is important while organizing the plate.
Contrasting colors, textures and shapes add to the eye appeal and that starts to give us satiety even before taking that first bite. "We eat first with our eyes!"
Consider having something hot and something cold with each meal, to satisfy as many of the different senses as possible. If there are too many soft and creamy things on the plate, try adding something crunchy. If you are eating something a bit too chilly, try adding something warm. Try to balance out the acidic foods like eggs, fish and beef with more alkaline (basic) foods like spinach, broccoli and brussel sprouts.
From the standpoint of antioxidants, the more colorful your plate is, the healthier it is for you (try including blueberries, blackberries or strawberries). If one meal features mainly dry foods, try adding something wet on the side. Finally, try making the foods on your plate varied sizes; when you dice, slice and chop different sizes, it will add that extra bit of visual variety and overall mouth/taste appeal.
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This blog is for informational purposes only. It is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a licensed, qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.