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Learn How to Love Healthy Foods (Page 10)

Tweak Texture

Tweak Texture

Crunchy, chewy, squishy, thick, thin. All these textures play a role in how we interpret food and how much we eat. "More-viscous foods—foods that are thicker or have less fluidity—leave a coating of flavor in your mouth that prolongs a pleasurable sensation," says René de Wijk, Ph.D., a sensory scientist at Food & Biobased Research in the Netherlands. For instance, the sweetness of a thick smoothie will last in your mouth longer than the sweetness of a soda. In the same vein, anything that makes food linger in your mouth longer—like adding crunchy bits that require a lot of chewing—draws out and intensifies positive sensations, says de Wijk. And with all this intensity going on, smaller bites yield plenty of pleasure and, thus, we eat less, according to de Wijk's research. "These types of foods elicit more sensations and more oral movement than less thick or less crunchy foods. So people unconsciously react to that intensity with smaller bite sizes," he says.

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